Goal Post: Return of an Old Joke . . . Also, It’s Been a Loooooooooooong Weeeeeeeeek

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I’ll put the usual music video that nobody watches on the bottom.  Let’s get right into this thing . . . Can I take a nap first?

The main reason I’m so tired is because we had a Nor’easter on Wednesday, which you wouldn’t think would cause a problem.  It was all about timing.  We lost power a few minutes after I began charging my phone, which is also my alarm clock.  This resulted in a night of me repeatedly jolting awake because I was terrified that I would be late for work. The power didn’t come back until I was already at work, so I didn’t get a shower (water too cold!) and I couldn’t find anything in the kitchen.  I was lucky to have grabbed my leftover pizza instead of something else since we had to quickly open, snatch, and close the fridge without being able to see anything inside.  McDonald’s was my savior in terms of breakfast though.  Not the healthiest, but it was something.  Had a few dizzy spells too throughout the day, but I made it to the end.

This really set the tone for the rest of the week because I was so busy.  There was an appointment or activity every night, which is how it’s going to be for a few months.  It means I won’t be able to use weeknights to write my book or get much done in the way of blogging.  That second thing is an issue because I have the following on deck:

  1. 7 December posts to schedule.
  2. 2 Legends Revisited posts to schedule for the year.
  3. 6 known January posts to schedule.
  4. 3 January posts that I have no topics for.  (HELP!)

You might think I have time to get this done, but I’ve been sitting on the first one for about a month because my days are chaotic.  I’ve ended most by crawling into bed or collapsing in a chair in front a puzzle that I think I drooled on at some point.  So, I can’t depend on time working in my favor since we’re almost to Halloween and then comes November.  I don’t want to spend Christmas week (no school and my son is with his mother) doing all of the blogging.  I can feasibly get 4-5 chapters of War of Nytefall: Ravenous done in that span of time.  I want my blogging deck cleared by then, which feels like a more uphill battle than it should be.  Positive thoughts and hope won’t get me through this, especially with how next week is going to be.  I don’t expect to get much done until the following weekend and half of that has already been booked.

On the plus side, I did get the Prologue and Chapter 1 of War of Nyefall: Ravenous done last weekend.  It was a good start and I did a little editing already when I had time.  Adding in a drug addiction storyline is a challenge because I need to look into how that can manifest while considering this isn’t a human suffering.  It’s not something I originally planned when I came up with the story, but I think it can work.  Oddest thing is that I’m touching on more sensitive topics with the Dawn Fangs than I did with the champions of Legends of Windemere.  I’m looking forward to working more on this story because I’m curious.  The earliest I can jump back into it is Friday night though, which is frustrating.

I’m thinking of making Thursday my ‘no work’ night.  The martial arts nights and my son’s weekly group session don’t tax me emotionally like the coparenting sessions.  I came home feeling out of it and kind of hurting.  Better to put my son to bed and plop down with the puzzle.  I couldn’t even focus on what I put on the TV, so I will either do the news or an anime I’ve already seen.  That way I’ve got some noise and it isn’t a horrible thing if it’s nothing more than environmental static in my head.  All I’ve got on Netflix now is ‘Wynonna Earp’ Season 3 and ‘Glow’ Seasons 2-3, so I can take my time.  Really having trouble finding anything new on there since I don’t watch much on regular cable these days.

Wow.  I thought this post would take less time, but I’m dragging my feet.  I guess it’s off to the puzzle until I have to run some errands then pick up the munchkin.  Maybe the problem is me.  I’m so drained and stretched mentally that it’s hard to get moving quickly or for extended periods of time.  Not that this is new since I’ve been like this for about a year.  Seems to be getting worse, which might be due to the ‘anniversary’ of the divorce starting being about 1.5 months away.  People keep asking me if I’ve moved on, moved out, healed, began dating again, and a whole load of questions that hurt.  I’m still focused on making sure my son is okay during this time.  One reason is because I feel like I can’t advance faster than a crawl.  TA Level 3 can’t be reached for until Thanksgiving and then I need to figure out what I have to do for a teaching certification.  Books aren’t selling and I lack time and funds for promos.  Want to submit to a few things, but I can’t due to the divorce not being finalized.  Maybe that’s the event I need to really begin pushing forward again.  At least in some fashion because I definitely feel like I’d be terrible in a relationship these days with my trust issues.  Funny how this hasn’t really cropped up in War of Nytefall when I write it, especially with Clyde and Mab being characters formerly played by me and the ex-wife.  You’d think I’d junk that relationship, but I’m still chugging along with them in how I planned it out.

So, what are the goals of the week?

  1. Get more blogging scheduled.
  2. Time with son when he’s home.
  3. Teaching  (This is a busy week for that)
  4. Get a Halloween costume of some kind.
  5. Writing next weekend.
  6. Puzzle stuff.
  7. Laundry because pants are required outside of the house.
  8. Something that I’m probably forgetting at this point.
  9. Catch up on sleep . . . Is that even possible outside of a coma?
  10. Post the music video, which is oddly more positive and uplifting than you would expected from me.

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Resurrection of Monster Maker Fun 2019: Creatures Donated by Elyan White & Chelsea Owens #October #Monsters

Stein’s Lab in Soul Eater

Let’s see what’s been cooked up this time!

The first three monsters were donated by Elyan White:

Garedghival

Thriving on the Tagycal River, these predators primarily eat the small monkeys and many of the wading birds species that live in the region.  They are reptilian with golden scales on their backs that mimic the sunlight on the water.  When there is no light, they roll onto their backs, which are black to watch the murky river.  In this position, they can twist their heads most of the way around, but not for more than ten minutes.  Because of this, they only assume this hunting position when they hear prey nearby.  Using their powerful tail to propel themselves, the Gardeghivals strike with their toothless mouths that are wider than their bodies.  Since they have small throats, they need to crush their prey between their sturdy palates to make it fit.  This can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour depending on what they are eating.

Forsythfilal

A bush that has silver leaves, the Forsythfilal is a cornerstone of the Inalfa Plains’ ecosystem.  While each plant lives far from each other, they are actually all connected by a shared root system that spans the entire region.  This network keeps the soil in place when the powerful winds blow and provide food for the burrowing animals.  Growing twenty feet every day, they are able to withstand being a common food source.  The Forsythfilal takes in very little water, which allows most of the sporadic rainfall to go to the grasses and short trees. Whenever a major storm is approaching, the leaves will shake and release a high-pitched ringing that give the animals a warning to hide.  Those that do not burrow or reach one of the rocky outcroppings can hide within the immovable bush.  Only a few animals eat the leaves, but four of them can keep an elephant fed for a day since they are very dense and filling for their size.  It is believed that the Forsythfilal birthed the other plants in the area due to commonalities in their DNA.

Ligengqen

A rare beast of the Qiltqip island, there are thought to be only nine of them still in existence.  They have not lost their habitat or suffered from disease, so nobody is sure why their population dropped so low on such a large island.  The Ligengqen are very furry with each member being a different color.  They only share the same white circles around their tiny, black eyes.  Six arms end in claws that are sticky on the bottom and allow them to travel through the trees.  While not as slow as a sloth, they are not fast unless they feel threatened.  If they perceive danger then they leap high above the canopy and disappear in a puff of smoke.  Lack of predators makes it unclear why they have this defense, but some fishermen from the neighboring islands believe this is a suicide.  It is rumored that there are only ever nine Ligengqen and they vanish when discovered only to be reborn when the threat has moved on.  It has been noted that the vegetation wilts slightly and loses color for an hour after one of these beasts disappear.

The next three beasts have been donated by Chelsea Owens:

Pothymarsh

There is only one of these in the world and it got its name people thought it was a land mass instead of an animal.  This enormous slug has covered its body in enough dirt that plants have grown all over it.  There are trees that are perpendicular to the ground and a grove of orange trees on top of what is believed to be its head.  The eye stalks appear only when it is moving and that happens once every three years.  On top of the Pothymarsh, are deep pools that are home to many animals and plants you would normally find in a saltwater marsh.  The big difference that had people stumped until the beast moved is that they were filled with a thin slime instead of water.  This muck is a murky white and drains salt from the main body to prevent it from drying out.  Moisture is absorbed from the ground, so the areas around the Pothymarsh tend to be turned into deserts or dry grasslands.

Barisconk

A distant relative of the Gelada Baboon, this animal lives in arctic areas, which means it has thicker hair and no exposed parts.  Instead of having a red rump, the Barisconk has a large bulb on the end of its tail.  To handle the slippery landscape, their feet are wide and have barbs that can be extended for sudden stops.  The undersides of their feet are thick, leathery, and are always frigid.  Frostbite is avoided by their blood being incredibly hot and pushed through the body quickly.  The Barisconk move in groups of 40-50 and feed off penguins and seals.  Being weak swimmers, they catch prey by bashing through ice with fists that are three times the size of a gorilla’s and harder than steel.  They drop their tails into the water like a fishing rod and watch for passing animals.  The bulb can deliver a powerful blast of heat that will shock animals long enough for the Barisconk to get them out of the water.  This is typically done by the fisherman going under and the others making a ladder where each one holds the tail of the other.  If they catch the slightest scent of a polar bear or orca, they entire group will retreat at least three miles away from the area.

Largevest

Standing at sixteen feet tall, these gangly animals travel through the desert in a single line that never breaks.  They are never seen to stop for food or divert from their path, which nobody has been able to trace.  Most pursuers have lost these creatures in sandstorms that strike if followed for more than an hour.  All attempts to get close have been met with failure as they Largevest are always at a distance.  This is why many believe they are nothing more than mirages.  Yet, footprints have been found, each one having three front claws and a rear one.  A furrow in the middle could be from a tail, but the figures seen never show such a body part.  It is difficult to say because they are nothing more than large shadows with barely recognizable arms that swing slightly.  Theories have included spirits of those who died in the desert, a cursed tribe, and dinosaur/human hybrids that have been searching for a home since the last Ice Age.

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Derailing Bedlam: Murder Gods Part 1 #fiction #adventure

As usual, here is your warning that this story has cursing, sex (not graphic), innuendo, and violence.  It’s my Rated-R action adventure called Derailing Bedlam.  This is the fourth outing (third official) for Cassidy and Lloyd, so feel free to click on one of the two covers to see how it started.  Each one is 99 cents!

Cover by Jon Hunsinger

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

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Continue reading

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Through the Nethergate, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today, my special guest is a cute black doggie with the awful name of Hugh Bigod. He’s here to talk to us about a problem he has. Probably something to do with that name. “Welcome to the show, Hugh.”

“A cute black doggie! How dare you refer to Hugh Bigod, the First Earl of Norfolk and the most evil man who ever lived in Norfolk as a cute black doggie? I am the most powerful ghost in Bungay, master to all the other ghosts. I choose to take the form of a huge black dog with red eyes as it strikes fear into the heart of my victims.”

“You’re telling me, you’re not actually a dog, but a ghostly apparition of a man named Hugh Bigod?”

“Yes, you imbecilic machine. After King Henry…

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Windemere Monsters: Trolls #fantasy #adventure

DnD Dire Troll

What would a fantasy world be without trolls to drive terror into the hearts of adventures at least once?  Obviously, you can do this, but I was picking from the classics early on and trolls were top of the list.  I wanted them to be one of the biggest threats that my heroes can run into.  Nothing on the scale of dragons or demons, but they certainly take the top spot among the less magical beasts.  For this, I went wild with the description and kept writing until I ran out of steam.  Easiest to give an excerpt from Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower when they debuted:

“The forest tracker moves ahead of the other warriors to examine the troll and a lump forms in his throat as soon as he sets eyes on the monster. Standing over twelve feet tall with long, heavy arms that drag along the ground, the beast is a two-headed nightmare come to life. Luke notices that the troll’s eyes are nothing more than dark holes with pinpricks of yellow in their center. Rigid, twisted hairs stick out of its heads in every direction, resembling dead branches. The beast sniffs the air with its long, mosquito-like noses before walking on wide feet that give it a pounding stride. Sunlight glints off the curved claws that sparkle like diamonds.”

I later showed that there were “subtle vapors wafting off its lime skin”, which is a sign that they are weak against fire.  I haven’t always kept the color consistent or mentioned, but I try to maintain this hulking, long-limbed beast consistent.  There can be variations depending on the environment.  The one above is found in forests, but you can have slight deviations when the trolls live in jungles, mountains, or deserts.  The excerpt doesn’t mention that they can blend into their surrounding, but they typically materialize when they pounce.  Burrowing, regeneration, and a numbing effect when they cut skin round out the alpha predator’s powers.

Trolls are incredibly hard to kill with magic since even regular fire can be put out before it kills.  There are ways to weaken them though.  Glands behind the eyes allow their chameleon abilities to work when they are moving.  Destroying those will mean that the troll resembles heat haze similar to The Predator when it moves.  A deep cut through the face can also limit their regeneration since the front of the brain is what controls the rapid rate.  It could be beheaded while it repairs the brain damage, which is the only way it can get back to its full strength.  The challenge is delivering the killing blow since trolls will retreat for a bit if they are severely injured.  Due to not having any natural predators, they don’t realize when they are outmatched until they have been hurt.  This is something that many adventurers use to their advantage because a shot through the eye can give them a chance to escape.

You rarely see trolls in groups since they are territorial.  Mating pairs will stay together for a few months until the female gives birth.  Then, the male leaves before she uses him as a regenerating food source.  He isn’t killed, but he is repeatedly ‘harvested’ until the child is strong enough to fend for itself.  There are some trolls that allow this to happen, but that is only in areas where food tends to be scarce.  On islands, you can find troll colonies since there isn’t enough space for them to divide the area.  Travelers avoid these places because any new type of food is attacked immediately by the swarm, which will become so frenzied that a quarter of the population will be eaten in the fray.  You will find that the tropical species are more feral and primal.

I have toyed with some specialties too.  The Sjotroll in Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks is supposed to the first attempt at making a troll.  This is a legendary monster that is said to have been forged from the gods’ nightmares.  There are supposed to be only 4 in existence with one on each of the mortal continents (Canst’s Fields, Ralian, Cerascent, and Shayde), but there could be more.  There is a big ritual involving sacrifices and shamans to wake them, but not many know of it.  All I will say is that this monster is gigantic and considered legendary for a reason.  In the future, I’m hoping to introduce a species that is intelligent and tame, but it hasn’t worked out yet.  Never seems to fit the series.  I’ll keep trying though.

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Teaser Tuesday: Starting Off on an Odd Foot #fantasy #shortstories

Cover Art by Circecorp

Here’s another one from The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks.  I’m finding it difficult to locate the older teasers, so they might all be new.  This is a part from Ichabod Brooks & the Vixen of Errenshar.  I’m going to let the introduction of this tale speak without much of an introduction.  Enjoy!

Continue reading

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War of Nytefall Interviews- Chastity and Mab: Friends to Enemies and Back Again #vampires #fantasy

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It’s another Monday in October, so I’m going to present two more characters from War of Nytefall to answer questions in the comments.  Hopefully, this gets a lot of responses and we have some fun.  To check out the books in this series, here are the links:

  1. War of Nytefall: Loyalty
  2. War of Nytefall: Lost
  3. War of Nytefall: Rivalry

Today, it’s Chastity Sullivan and Mab who get to join us.  Since Mab was part of last week’s interview, I’m not going to post her bio again.  She’s going to reappear during the last one too and Chastity will be back with us next week.  This is getting confusing.  To get a refresher on Mab, check out her interview alongside Clyde.

Chastity Sullivan is the owner of the Scrumptious Siren, which is a cupcake-shaped building surrounded by trees.  Living within the trees are vampiric hummingbirds that do her bidding.  Back in the early days of being in Clyde’s gang, she was a seductive information gatherer and made money from blackmailing others.  Now, she runs a bakery, tavern, brothel, inn, and, most recently, hot spring establishment.  Being on top of a hill, the Scrumptious Siren goes underground and has different rooms that she is always adding to.  Her bakers are charmed goblins who make a wide variety of treats.  Chastity has very little shame and her favorite dress has pink hand prints that will change to match whoever has perked her interest.  Her powers include endless stamina, telekinesis, and a charm mist that she can unleash from her pores.  She is always looking for mischief, new business ventures, and sources of pleasure.

Way back when, Chastity joined the gang after Clyde saved her from an abusive sire.  At first, she bunched heads with Mab because both have alpha personalities.  They quickly became friends since Chastity was able to learn about treasures that appealed to the thief’s love of money and challenges.  This friendship went sour after Mab talked to Chastity about her upcoming anniversary with Clyde.  A misunderstanding happened where Chastity thought Mab wanted her to seduce Clyde and then switch places, but that second part didn’t happen.  After the Great Cataclysm, one couldn’t even say Chastity’s name around Mab without setting her off.  This all changed as they became Dawn Fangs, fell into the same trap, and had to depend on each other for survival.  Now, Mab still throws insults at Chastity, but there isn’t any malice.

Note:  Mab has repeatedly challenged Chastity to fights.  She never wins because Chastity immediately uses charm magic to end what she thinks is a waste of time and energy.

So, ask your questions and we’ll see what happens.

Posted in Ask a Character, War of Nytefall | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments