My debut fantasy novel, The Archguardians of Laceria, is now available in paperback, and in all ebookstores!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Kysharok - Part 5


   “You’re lying.”
   He lifted his head sharply and stared at her with wide eyes.
   “You forget how long I’ve known you,” Sashir explained, relaxing her arms and dropping them to her sides, “and how many times I’ve patched you up. I know how you work, and I know when you’re lying. But,” she continued, walking towards him with a warmer smile, “I also know your judgement can be trusted, and that you wouldn’t lie to me unless you had to.” She placed her hand on his cheek, which, she noticed, colour had returned to. “I will not ask again.”
   “But—“
   “No, Karn,” she said, turning her head to the side to address the larger man. “He has his reasons.” She turned back to him. “And we’ll respect them…even if it is against our better judgement.”
   Varai smiled gently and dipped his head in thanks.
   “Your things are in the other room,” she said as she turned and began to walk away. The young girl, Kari, stayed at her side, and Varai followed on, adjusting his loose robes as he went. He looked at the dirty, featureless walls as they walked down a short, narrow corridor, and then up at the bumpy ceiling. While the scent of Carcyli was still strong and present, though not intoxicatingly so, there was also a definite, lingering smell that he could only assume was burnt sugar - the usual tell-tale sign that Kari had been cooking.
   “When did you move here?” He asked as they stepped into a larger room, lightly furnished but warm and cosy nonetheless.
   “About two months ago,” she answered, leaving him standing near the doorway, scanning the room as she approached a cupboard. “The old place was found out. Or, we think so, anyway. More footsteps went past the front door than there should have.” She removed a bundle of cloth, which clattered strangely in her hands as she lifted it, and held it out towards him. “Jseek has cleaned your blade.”
   Varai strode into the room as she offered him his belongings, and once he took them from her, he crouched down and layed the cloth out on the floor. Within the wrapped bundle there was indeed a blade – it was a large sword, slightly curved and at half his own length, and its hilt was wrapped in black and gold. He lifted and unsheathed it, and, had it been an unfamiliar blade, he’d have marvelled at its perfect balance, but as it was, he merely inspected the steel. Not only was there no longer any trace of blood, but it also had a shine to it that he hadn’t seen in some time. He grunted his approval and began to sort through his other items – the coin pouch he tied to his hip, concealed within the folds of his Vankar; the flask he kept hidden within the Vankar's waist once tied, filled not with alcohol but rather a special concoction to keep a few unique enhancements of his in line; a small picture he kept hidden even safer within an inside pocket of his garment, and finally the badge of rank he wore on his left shoulder. He fixed everything into place, slung the scabbard on his back then easily resheathed his sword.
   A hand landed gently on his shoulder. "You're not going anywhere yet, Varai," Sashir told him. "You may as well remove that blade and badge and be settled for a while."
   Varai's shoulders slumped and he sighed deeply, but did as she suggested. He had foolishly assumed that he was well enough to leave since he could walk around well enough with little pain, but he knew that he should have known better. Sashir was not so careless. "How long will I have to stay?"
   "You say that like you don't want to be here," a hissing voice came from behind him. He turned abruptly and grinned sharply to find a serpentine face staring at him from the doorway. The face was humanesque - enough that one could easily distinguish the eyes, nose and mouth, but lacked any visible ears like most reptiles. The figure was hooded and cloaked in black, and the scales that replaced the skin of the figure were a muddy brown colour, but large shining eyes penetrated the dark shadow that covered his face, narrowed though they were.
   "Well I wouldn't say that, but now you're here I find myself a little more aware of my thoughts," he said, his grin remaining as he turned to face the figure who walked quickly and silently towards him, swaggering from side to side with each step like a four-legged lizard. As the reptilian being stopped before him and lowered his hood, he revealed the long, scaled, tentacle-like appendages that hung down from his lower jaw, and sharp spines that jutted from the back of his head and ran right down his back, which only grew larger the further down they went, and pierced through his robes.









Thursday, 28 June 2012

A Good Cause - Can You Spare A Little?

   I heard about it on facebook, and when I went to see what it was about I broke down.
   I cannot stand to see or hear about things like this. I have very little money at the moment, but I've donated what I could. Can you do the same? $10? $5? $1? A small fraction of a sale you made - be it on Etsy or from ads or something?

Brace yourself and have a look. You know I'd never ask otherwise.







Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A Little Blogger Disappointment

To clarify, this has nothing to do with anything specific, 'nor is it a passive aggressive attack or an insult in disguise, it's merely something I've noticed over the past few months, and I wanted to bring it to attention so that perhaps others who feel the same know it's not just them, and so others who are doing well hopefully won't fall into the same pattern.

   There are some bloggers out there - I sha'n't name names - who seem like very respectable individuals. They do well for themselves with their blog and probably also their shop, and perhaps they also make some pleasantly unique tutorials, points and general posts. They can be quite interesting individuals.
   I doubt sponsoring is a new thing, and perhaps I was just idolising these bloggers and viewing them through rose-coloured glasses due to their success, but lately it seems that all a few bloggers care about is getting sponsors. Sure, I mention it, because I'd like to get my blog out there a little more by having people sponsor me as equally as myself sponsoring others, but there are no fees for my ads and probably won't be for some time - and when they are, they'll be as low as like $3 to $5, which is even less in GBP.
   But these bloggers always seem to act as though they care what their readers think, and appreciate them - and perhaps they do, but only as far as their own gain. The second you contact them and ask them for help on spreading the word of something, or help with HTML or advice on blogging tips (things I've not asked of in a while), they either don't want to help, or they completely ignore you. It's very strange. What's the use pretending they haven't read my message? It's obvious they check their email on an almost daily basis, given their success, but they can't muster a single-sentence reply?

   Not every successful blogger is this way, but some of them, if you try to pitch them an idea, they won't offer to help unless you pay sponsorship - and sponsorship of a certain level. Nevermind that you've followed them for a long while or you've even been there to help them the occasional time they have questions or need help. It's as if they won't think for themselves anymore, they will only help if you sponsor high enough, regardless of what the subject is.

   I'm not saying sponsoring is bad. Some people are truly great bloggers, but with the rate of unemployment at the moment, sometimes sponsoring is a nice, tiny bit of extra cash to put towards some new washi tape or craft supplies or something.

   I suppose what I'm badgering on about is that I won't be this way. I can appreciate that sometimes people can get great ideas, but those ideas will fail and flop around like a fish out of water and not get very far because those same people don't have the necessary audience or know-how to get it to succeed. Therefore, if anyone else ever has a competition, participational event or what not (and no, I don't just mean link-ups and blog hops, I mean bigger things) that they wish for help with spreading the word, drop me a line and I will be pleased to help.

   Believe me, this post isn't aimed at anyone, it's not some passive aggressive stab, it's just an observation I've made over the past few months that range across a lot of big blogs. And as I said before, not all of them are that way. But if by any chance a successful blogger is reading this, please take into account that people don't always ask for your help or for you to promote something because specifically of who you are, but rather your reach and audience far exceeds that of the individual trying for help. Take it into consideration the next time you purposely don't respond to a request someone has made. "No thank you" is better than complete silence and static.



Monday, 25 June 2012

A Plea For Help

   That's what this is, so please take the time to read.

   It's a competition. I've literally only just started real work on the idea, and I'm looking for a few larger blogs to help spread the word, and a few shops to donate some prizes. The prizes have to be of a certain standard, however, so I reserve the right to decline submissions, in this case.
   The competition is simple: destructive creativity. I saw the book Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith, where the idea is to do just that. Wreck the journal. I decided to make it into a competition.

   What? I hear you ask. How can that be a competition? Well the idea is that you have to destroy it creatively. As if you've suddenly become a 3 year old [boy] and feel the need to destroy something. It doesn't have to be aggressive destruction, of course. Smearing mud and bolognese sauce on it would count perfectly, or making a nice picture out of chewed up bubblegum. It might sound strange, but it's also a lot of fun.

For full info, have a look at the competition mock-up page, here.
The competition will probably last a few months, and all that is required really is a notebook and creativity.

What do I need from you?
I'd appreciate people willing to blog about the competition when the time comes for it to go live - if you're interested, email me and I'll be in touch when that time comes, or for any other info you need.

I also need some great prizes - they could be journals themselves, or stuffed toys or funny little things like that, but as I said above, I will refuse any prize I don't think is suitable for a competition. Some items are better suited to just giveaways.

Thanks for your time, guys! If you know of anyone who might be interested in either helping spread the word, or donating a prize, please pass this info on!



Etsy Favourite Feature

Another great feature. Sometimes I want to feature particular items on my blog, but they're sold out
at the time of piecing it together, so I usually resort to something else that's similar in their shop -
but, of course, the catch is they have to be in my favourites. So, if I end up posting the same product
twice at some point, I apologise! But they're usually worth seeing at least twice, anyway ^^
Enjoy! And you can use the code DrunkenWhaler for 20% off of my own shop!






Sunday, 24 June 2012

Close Enough.




Looking For New Sponsors For July


   The ads are still free, but only medium and small are available. Still, free is free, right? Heada over to my sponsor page for details on what the medium and small ads include, and how to apply - there are a lot of bullet points, but it really isn't that complex.

  In the meantime, have you seen my new venetian mask necklaces?





Friday, 22 June 2012

Currently


I felt the need to write a blog post, but I have no subject. It's funny, really, because I have a guest post I'm supposed to write but I just can't get myself on with it. Now I know how my sponsors feel when I pester them for it!

Reading: 'The Imperial City' by Greg Keyes - I don't tend to read much these days, I've often found that if I read while I'm trying to write a book, I'm very likely to be influence by whatever I'm reading. Fortunately, however, I've found that, after having been working on this trilogy for almost three years already, the story is veeeryyy much engrained within my mind, and I have no danger of outside influence. I've rediscovered the joy of reading and I'm unable to put the book down.

Watching: Bleach - I hate anime, I do, it's not something I'm fond of. I watched Pokémon and Dragonball Z when I was a youngster and liked those, but I've always felt that anime infects people and turns them into KAWAII-spouting freaks who speak in memes and dress strangely. I realise now that they are only the extreme fanboys and girls, but I can understand the appeal of good anime. I'm at episode 110 now (Hooray, Bountou Arc has finally flipping ended), and I've also come to realise that a lot of what I see about other animes that looks stupid is taken out of context. There are walking, talking stuffed toys in Bleach - but they're not ridiculous because, as far as I'm concerned, after 110 episodes, they have a perfectly valid reason to do so, given what they actually are. If I'd seen this before watching any I'd never have touched it. But on another note, the villain is insane. I love Bleach if just for that. The bad guy, I swear, is one of the very last people you'd expect. It is awesome. My mind was blown. I'm desperate to tell someone all about it, but I don't want to ruin it on the off chance some of you intend to watch it in the future. And I love how individual and unique each of the 13 Court Guard Captains are as well!

Listening: Seeg - I don't really do music anymore. I used to be in bands, I used to sing, and I used to play bass - I used to live for music. Now it's just something I hear every now and then. The only music I'm exposed to now is the orchestrated wonders of Skyrim, TV and movie soundtracks, and the opening theme of the news. But I will admit that if I listen to music at all now, it's soundtracks. I need Pirates of the Caribbean, the music is fantastic. I have Kung-Fu Panda, because it's awesome, but by favourite soundtrack is the aforementioned Skyrim soundtrack - 4 discs, and signed by the composer. But at this exact moment I can hear Seeg laughing and speaking Dutch while shooting from...a forklift?

Playing: Skyrim - I am certainly obsessed. I don't like to stop playing one game and play another while the first is unfinished. We already had Skyrim when I started Oblivion, but I wouldn't even start Skyrim until I'd finished all the achievements. I almost managed, too! But Skyrim is wonderful. Seeg has 200+ hours of gameplay and I, with only 87, am still finding new, unexplored areas that he's never seen before. The game is just huge. The story is great, the quests are great, but there are so many side quests and factions that the main story line is only a small part of the game. I hate Draugr though. I hate them so much. And Dwemer ruins. Dwemer ruins moreso. I only get through them now because of Aura Whisper which lets me see where the nearest hostiles are, so if something is about to jump out at me, I see it first.

Following: I suppose I'm following Bleach, and still Looking For Group - I've been following the comic now for years, but the problem is that they only release one page every few days, and sometimes those are just filler pages that are individual scene-setting pictures. I have to leave it for a couple of months to have enough to sit down, read, and enjoy. It's why I hate having such short segments of Kysharok on here, but too long and it'll put people off. They will get longer as we get deeper into the story, though.

Eating: Cadbury Caramel Nibbles - I prefer Galaxy chocolate, but these were cheaper. And, y'know, I need some kind of chocolate.

Working: My book - I'm trying to keep up with the 100 Day Challenge, but I suppose I've already failed with that, technically. I've been going for 22 days, and while I have about 26 pages, I've only actually written about 5 of those days. However, if on the 8th of September I have written at least 100 pages from the start of the challenge, then on some other level, I'll have succeeded.

Making: High Elf My Little Pony - You already know I'm obsessed with Skyrim (though Oblivion is also quite good, it's just quite different to the rest of the Elder Scrolls series), and I've wanted to customise a MLP for a few years but never really looked into it. When it comes down to it, it's not that hard, just time-consuming - but then again, I've not tried to do a full-body repaint or dye one yet. I bought a Butterscotch G3 for £4, and at this moment in time she is headless, has no bottom symbol, magnet or heart on her hoof, and she is also bald. I had bought some Kanekalon hair to use, but it's too stiff and not silky enough, so I've had to buy new hair of a different type. When it's finished, or at the very least, I'm half way through, I'll post about it. I'm also still planning out my Nightingale Bow.


Well, that successfully wasted 20 minutes...now what?
 





Kysharok - Part 4


   Varai groaned as he slowly sat upright. His side stung, and his hand instinctively went to grasp his sword, but when he found nothing behind him and instead realised he was in a bed, and indoors, he began to consciously recall the most recent events. Though they had seemed to be a terrible nightmare, he could not deny even the slightest that they were true, and he certainly had the wounds to prove it should he try.
   His head swam, and he hunched over forwards and grasped it in his hands to steady himself. A moment later, after the dizziness had passed, he looked down at himself. He wasn't wearing his Vankar - in fact all he was clad in was clean bandaging. He grunted and looked around himself. 'I must be in Sashir's new place,' he thought to himself as he noted the cloths and metal tools hanging from the edge of the shelf above his bed, and the jars of leaves and herbs stood upon it. 'I'm surprised I made it.'
   He turned and dropped his feet to the floor, and as he glanced to the table beside him, he found bread and water. He lifted the bread immediately, his stomach was growling like a wild animal and as he gradually remembered what happened to him in better detail, he knew he needed the energy more than he ever had before.
   There was little in the room with him, he noticed: a few chairs, a couple of small tables, and a wardrobe. Still eating the bread, he slowly rose to his feet and started towards the latter. Being Sashir's home, there would surely be a suitably-fitting Vankar hanging up inside, and he was sure that they had disposed of his own. It was likely too torn up to be wearable anyway.
   He opened the door - noticing as he did so the strong purple bruising all up his arm - and found his assumption was correct. He placed the small loaf down on a nearby chair and removed the garment which appeared closest to his size. He struggled into it in his current state, despite the standard loose fit, but it didn't take him too long or cause him much pain, and once it was tied about his waist and clasped at his chest, he felt no lingering discomfort.
   He looked into the wardrobe again, this time searching for his belongings, but as he noticed that there was nothing in there but more black clothing, the door opened.
   "You're up!" The young girl, Kari, grinned up at him.
   He smiled warmly back, as he was ever fond of the child, and nodded. "I am, thanks to you, I bet."
   Her cheeks flushed gently. "I didn't do much. Miss Sashir was the one that did the work." Her face dropped to one of concern. "There was so much blood, Mister Varai...what happened?"
   His face fell as he began to search for words. His eyes moved away from the girl's sad face to better focus his mind, but fortunately, before he had the chance to put a sentence together, another figure appeared behind her.
   "How do you feel?" The healer asked.
   He grinned thankfully. "Fine, now," he replied, but quickly noting no good humour in the woman's aged face, his own became guilty. He knew what she wanted to know.
   "What happened?” She asked, her eyes narrowing slightly, though in concerned interest rather than anger as she folded her arms.
   He sighed heavily in defeat and looked away from her in shame, giving in immediately. “I got caught up in a civilian fight,” he began, his voice having grown thicker. “I was trying to break it up, though I don't know what it was about, but I got caught by one of their blades and couldn’t react fast enough. They killed many before I got there – I managed to save most of them by becoming a distraction as they ran away, but they still killed managed to kill others who weren’t fast enough.”
   Sashir watched him for a long moment with no change in her posture or expression. She stared steadily as his frown deepened, eyes closed and fist clenched. She spoke plainly: “You’re lying.”







This Is What My Dad Found




I'd guess I was about 8, judging from the Team Rocket Pokémon cards.







Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Pre-occupied

   I've done a poor job with the blog lately! I've had my head all in a buzz about projects, products, sales and love. I've not done much writing lately either! Shame on me, indeed, but Seeg has been off the xbox so in light of the Dawnguard DLC for Skyrim (I'm so gonna blast those vampires to shit) coming out soon, I've finally decided to finish the game (on one character, I have another to go and many achievements to gather), so I've been neglecting other things.
   In truth I suppose I've been floating about in my head. I've had a surprising success with sales lately, which means we can pre-order Assassin's Creed 3's Freedom edition next week, I can buy the base materials for the Nightingale bow, and I can buy my Wacom tablet - not from sales alone, of course, but with the aid of them.
   To celebrate how well I'm doing, in fact, you can use the code DrunkenWhaler for 20% off of my shop until the middle of July!

   But I've been spending a lot of time thinking of new products - most of which, as always, are out of my reach - and replacing sold items. I made about 8 envelope necklaces and rings today! I've also been thinking a lot on projects I want to do but don't have the means to follow through with, yet. I have some ideas for prints to make, but I need the tablet to draw them; I have planned out a lot for my bow, but I need the base bow (yes, actual bow string and limbs, with a wooden riser) to even think about starting it, and that will cost about £50; I've been thinking about customising My Little Ponies as well - this one is a lot closer to fruition, because I've bought and now possess a pony in great condition and an appropriate colour, I have bought and now possess doll hair, wire, and acetone, and I also already had air-dry clay. All I need to start this is an iron to straighten the hair (it's kanekalon, I'll probably go for doll hair next time) and then I can get to it.
   But my head has been swimming with ideas lately, so much so that I've been unable to function and do any of the ones I can do.

   It's also been my first month with sponsors, and I'm looking for new sponsors for July - small and medium are all that's available - and they're free as swaps. Just head over to the Sponsor page for info on how to submit yourself.

   I'm sure there was something important to say but I've completely forgotten, and all I can think about at this moment is the bow, and a new necklace design. I'm about to go hunting for parts.



Monday, 18 June 2012

Etsy Favourite Feature

I'm spacing these days, I have no idea where my head is at. I'm trying to keep on top of Kysharok,
my blog, my shop, and being a carer. It's hard work and feels like there aren't enough hours in the
day...despite the fact that I spend most days sat around doing nothing but looking after mum and
refreshing my Etsy stats page...though, I've had the Nightingale Bow stuck in my head, and I
intend to get around to it in July/August. I'm quite excited about having such a big project to work
on! But for now, I'll do my best to stick with the present: today's Etsy Favourite Feature ♥






Saturday, 16 June 2012

Fantasy Story - Kysharok - Part 3


   "You didn't have to do that," Sashir hissed, spinning around to face Karn, her short blonde hair whipping about her head. "You could have caused more damage."
   "It got him to keep still, didn't it?" He argued calmly as he strode towards a chair, two others following him, leaving Sashir and a young girl beside Varai's motionless body.
   "Yes, but one wonders for how long," she glared, turning back to the injured man. "Kari, he's knocked over the bowl. Could you fill it again?" She asked pleasantly, and passed the steel bowl that Karn had earlier been given to the young girl's hands. She smiled happily and ran off, her dark pigtails swaying gently as she left.
   Sashir turned her attention back to the open wound. It wasn't bleeding too freely, but it was deep and possibly fatal. Varai's face was pale - aside from the large red mark that the heavy handed oaf had left on his forehead with a strong metal tankard - and he had lost a lot of blood already. The first thing to do was to stop the bleeding entirely.
   As the young girl returned and handed her mentor the steel bowl, now once again filled with strong alcohol, she began to clean the wound. The amount of blood that had dried onto his skin made it seem much larger and worse than it actually was, and she was relieved when she found it was longer than it was deep - it was more of a flesh-wound than anything else, but the bleeding still continued, and left unchecked could certainly claim his life.
   "Jseek?" She said, without turning around. No footsteps sounded behind her, but in her open hand a small wooden bowl was placed, and no words were spoken.
   "Thank you," she said, and scooped out a small handful of the green mush. It smelt vile, but she had grown used to it over the years, and was able to better concentrate on its placement within the wound.
   Even within his sleep he groaned in discomfort, but the mush would be able to both stop the bleeding and numb the entire area. He would still feel a strange sensation while she worked, but it wouldn't be pain, and he may be able to rest better while she did it.
   He was far from his usual territory, and while she didn't know where he had come from or why he was in such a state, all she cared for at that moment was patching him up. She would get the story out of him later. "You can go and sit down now, Kari," she said quietly as she noted the young girl stood nearby, watching patiently. "This one is too big for you to help."
   "Are you sure? If it's that big, maybe you do need help! There could be something small I can do! Do you need new cloths?"
   She appreciated the child's enthusiasm, and rewarded her with a smile. "You can help by sitting down. Too many people breathing nearby might dissolve this Gerra, then Mister Varai will only have more problems."
   "Okay!" She grinned, and ran off to sit on a chair with the others who were present in the room, though she kept a watchful eye and remained ready to jump to aid if needed.
   'Oh Varai, what have you done?' Her brow furrowed deeper as she concentrated and worked her skills as a healer. It took some time, nearly an hour, before she had successfully stopped the bleeding, and cleaned and sealed the wound. He'd need plenty of rest, and they most certainly wouldn't let him leave the second he woke, but he would be fine - sore, but fine.
   One by one the five figures left the room, leaving Varai to a fitful but consistent sleep. They were each itching to know what happened - in their own, individual ways - but as Kari was posted at the door to make sure no one would go in, and no one wanted to cross the little girl, or Sashir, they each waited as patiently as they could to find out.





I apologise for the lateness. I went out with Seeg yesterday and totally spaced the day before so I didn't queue it up! But it's here now ^^ As always, the next part will be on Friday. Failing that, Saturday.






Thursday, 14 June 2012

Does Anyone Have My Little Ponies?

   Yes, I am actually asking this. If anyone has any unwanted G3 My Little Ponies, could you let me know? G3 relates to the generation and they generally have a specific style. If it helps, it's the ponies that were out before the skinny and slutty ones you see now (I don't like them, they look like they could be very bitchy). I want to try customising some but I'm having a hard time finding any. Preferrably good body condition - minimal scratches and permanent marks. Hair can be frazzled or "styled" (which, as a child, typically means covered in felt tip pen or chopped short) - it doesn't matter, it's coming out and being replaced.

   Drop me a line if you're interested in getting rid of some of your daughters or your own old toys.



Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Ciera's Summer Salad & Giveaway -closed-

Hi, I'm Ciera, a freelance graphic designer and blogger over at Ciera Design. I'm so happy to be here guest posting today! I love making salad during the hot summer months but sometimes I get sick of using the same ingredients, especially lettuce, because lettuce gets boring! So I decided to come up with a super easy, lettuce free, healthy and delicious salad for you guys!

Summer-Salad-Ciera-Design-1

Ingredients: Cucumber, Radish, Carrot, Oil & Vinegar or Italian Dressing (quantity depends on how much you want to make - there is not an exact science here)

Directions: All you do is thinly slice the cucumbers and radishes, shred your carrots, add dressing of
choice and refrigerate for 20 minutes. That's it, I told you it was easy! Now just enjoy on a hot day!

Summer-Salad-Ciera-Design-2
Summer-Salad-Ciera-Design-3

Thanks so much to Kim for having me today and please come say hi over on my blog, Facebook or Twitter!

Giveaway

Ciera has also been kind enough to offer you all the chance to win a Facebook Timeline design of your choice from her shop! All you have to do is enter through rafflecopter - if you win, I'll let you know!



Monday, 11 June 2012

Off They Go...

   Yesterday I mailed out my first three chapters to an agency. Everyone I had submitted to so far had been done by email, and while none of them had said they didn't accept fantasy submissions, none of them explicitly said they did. Unsurprisingly, each of them have rejected my submission.
   But you may remember the letters I sent out to five other agencies, all of which said they did accept fantasy or sci-fi. I've heard back from four of them, and one of them requested the material by email. I went ahead and sent it to them, and they, too, rejected it, but I realise they never mentioned fantasy, but sci-fi instead (there is a difference, but they're also equally as outlandish so I went ahead and gave them a try), but now I'm sending my work out to the other agencies - all of whom are happy to receive fantasy.
   I've decided to stick with the Guild theme - keeping up appearances, and all, so once again I wrote out another Guild-style letter to accompany my chapters, and printed it onto my parchment paper. After bundling it all into a bubblewrap envelope, I wrapped that in parcel paper, tied it with string, and added my wax seal to the front. I would have placed it over the string, but I don't trust it not to break, and the paper was sealed with cellotape, so I didn't want to risk it not sticking on the back, which is why it's on the front of the package instead. I wanted to include it to make sure they recognised me - they requested my material, so I can only assume that they want it, and whether they remember me from before or not is irrelevant, but like I said, keeping up appearances.




As before, the parchment is from Paperchase, the wax seal was from Katrina Alana,
and the awesome jumbo paper clips are from Fawn and Flora,
and they're holding together 76 sheets!



Etsy Favourite Feature

I just so happened to pick out a few blue and green pieces from my favourites this week!
They look wonderful together ^^ I do enjoy putting these posts together - not so big that each
item is drowned out by the rest, but not so small that it's uninteresting...I hope...
As usual, there will be another post next Tuesday ^^







Friday, 8 June 2012

Fantasy Story - Kysharok - Part 2

   "Varai," a sweet but concerned voice came, along with approaching shuffling, and scraping of chairs along the wooden floor. He felt her aura as she knelt beside him, while he knelt hunched over, panting, one hand on the floor, the other still clutching his side. He felt a strong push against his shoulder suddenly, and allowed himself to be hauled upright, too weak to object.
   "Karn, be gentle!" The same voice came again, but with a much sterner tone, and despite the gruff apology, Varai felt himself lifted up unceremoniously over a larger man's shoulder and carried off deeper into the house.
   He was vaguely aware that she was following them, and was equally aware that they had entered a new room, but as he was dropped down onto what he guessed from the spring to be a mattress, he curled up and groaned in pain, sweat now beading on his forehead.
   "Move!" She shouted, pushing the giant man, Karn, to one side and standing over the injured figure. She grabbed a bundle of cloth from a shelf nearby, thrust a bowl into Karn's large hands and began to cut open his black, blood-stained Vankar. He flinched at her touch, but didn't attempt to stop her as she gently inspected the deep gash in his flesh. He heard her mumble things beneath her breath, but didn't try to decipher them, but when a stinging hot sensation sank into his wound, he hissed in pain.
   A cool, wet cloth was pressed against his forehead, and he felt someone stroke his hand - though, in the confused and stressful state he was quickly sinking into, he tried grasping desperately at whatever it was touching him so familiarly, but found nothing there.
   "Calm down, Varai, you're going to be fine, but you need to relax, you must."
   He managed to open his green eyes for a moment and caught a flash of her golden hair, but the stinging returned and he hissed in shock again. He felt desperation rising within him, and gradually became less aware of what was happening around him.

   Meditative silence, broken by screaming; a once beautifully crystal-clear stream, forever spoiled by blood; the concrete slab ground, smashed and crunched up beneath an individual's feet.
   Silver hair, blue eyes, a sharp grin, scarred left jaw, a grey Vankar, an icy-flamed sword. That doubtlessly familiar face filled with evil pleasure.

   He cried out in fury and began slashing his arms this way and that, reliving what he had witnessed and failed to entirely prevent. He hit something heavy, and as five pairs of hands grabbed at him - one of which felt clawed - and he hit something else, a great pain shot through his head, and within seconds, he saw only blackness, though he could still feel their touch for a moment longer.
   Sound began to fade away from him, and he was plunged back into the terrible event with no hope of leaving it. He was forced to stand there and watch from a distance across the concrete courtyard, unable to move and unable to look away, unable even to blink, and all he could do was cry out in agony when his side felt again like it was being burned with a thousand flames.





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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Sponsor Swaps

   Just a quick note to say that while the sponsor ads are still free until the end of August's lot, I've decided to change them to swaps. This way I can get myself out there a little more too, and I can safely assume that the blogs participating will know what is expected of them, since they offer sponsor spots too.
   The process is still the same - go to my Sponsor Page, give me the information via email that is requested there, and also include your own ad image (in the correct dimensions, otherwise Passionfruit will squash it and make it look unattractive) and the link you wish it to direct to.
   If you're opting for a large or medium ad, I'd also really appreciate it if you could decide on a subject to guest post on and/or a specific item to giveaway at the time of submission. There's no need to tell me what it is right away, but I don't want to have to remind everyone constantly. I've also created deadlines:

Sponsor introduction post between the 1st and the 5th
First guest post and giveaway posted between the 7th and 14th
Group giveaway between the 14th to 21st
Second guest post and giveaway between 21st to 28th

   If you're interested in ad swapping, please keep these dates in mind. I've reiterated them on the Sponsor page, along with updated submission info and method.



Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Meet the Sponsors!

   This is the first of the three months in which all sponsor places are free for swaps. I want to thank everyone who has opted to participate so far, and yes, spots are still left! See the sponsor page for details of how many free, swappable ads are left - but any swaps requested after today will not go live until July.

   Each month I'd like to introduce my sponsors to you, and ask a single specific question each month so that we can all get to know their individuality a little better.





Hi, I'm Ciera! A freelance graphic designer who also loves blogging and photography. I was born and raised in New Orleans but have been living in Boston for the past year. I have no idea how long I’ll be here or where I will go next (one of the fun things about working for myself)! Things that make me happy are traveling, the color green, typography, festivals, exploring Boston and keyboard shortcuts. Please stop by my 
blog and say hello!

 
Q. The scariest place I have ever been was New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. I did not know if life would ever return to normal or if my family and I would be able to return home. I love New Orleans so much and it was very hard to imagine that it may never be the same. Luckily, the city came together in a time of disaster and it is growing stronger than ever!  

blogtwitterfacebook etsypinterest



Hello there! My name is Hillery and I am a 25 year old crafty lady. I live and work out of my attic flat with my super awesome husband, and our sweet little black cat, Nori. We live near the banks of Lake Ontario in the beautiful town of Kingston, Ontario (Canada).
    I have always been a crafty girl and with my love of birds and hand sewing I've been led to design and create feathered fascinators and head pieces. I use gorgeous, natural feathers that I have collected from aviaries and farms all across Ontario and the US.
    I love the Etsy experience because it connects me with other individuals who share my interests, and I can explore many different kinds of creative works. I have also had a lot of fun designing and sharing my head pieces over the last few months and am now working towards creating a jewelry line.
Because Etsy has made it possible to explore and integrate social media, design, and, best of all blogging, I have have been blogging about crafts and living a hand made life for a steady six months now and I love it!

Q. One of the scariest experiences I have ever had was when a friend dared me to climb through a storm drain when I was 9. Georgia, the state I grew up in, is covered with poisonous plants, snakes, and spiders so I thought, surely, I wont make it out alive! I remember how time seemed to pass so slowly as I cautiously climbed through the drain, anxious to get to the other side! Even though, I made it out without a scratch, the experience still left me with a fear of spiders!

BlogShop



My name is Megan Dempsey. I am from a small town in Mississippi called Weir (pronounced Where). When I tell people that I always get the joke "Where's Weir?"
I am engaged (will be married at the end of this summer) to my wonderful husband to be Chad. We have been together for 6 years and have a beautiful daughter named Olivia June (she is 2), who my business JuneBug Country Couture is named after. Her nickname is JuneBug.
I have been doing my business part time during school at Mississippi State University. I just graduated from there majoring in Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising with an emphasis in Fashion Design. I will be doing an internship at L.A. Green Boutique in Starkville, MS starting Monday.
I love desiging and making clothing and accessories. I have always been creative. I also enjoy drawing and painting in my spare time.
I also do freelance patternwork for people. I am currently working on a pattern for a wedding bolero for a friend and patternwork for a company in Alabamba for a pair of coveralls.
I am still fairly new to Etsy and have enjoyed every second of it. It is such a great place to connect to other sellers and buyers.

Q. This was kinda tough and I had to think real hard on the answer. I would have to say the scariest place I have been is to a local cemetary at night. The reason I was there at night was the people I was with were ghost hunters. We were there trying to communicate with and see ghosts. It was my first time doing this. It was interesting but scary at the same time. I strongly believe in "ghosts" and stuff and the whole time I could feel "something". We never heard anything out of the "ghosts" but in some of the pictures taken you could see "orbs". I don't know if I will ever do it again, but it was a fun experience.




I am Linda Pruitt from the Portland Oregon area. I am a creative (young) grandma who likes to stay busy all the time: fun and games with the grands--twenty five of them!--and of course, sewing and quilting! I love hand embroidery too, so I do crazy quilts and embroidery art hoops for fun. I've been selling on Etsy for nearly four years; currently branching out selling wholesale to local shops. I am also a blogger. I love writing.

Q. I think the scariest place I have ever been when I was six was my own bedroom! We had a closet with a curtain closure, which didn't quite close all the way. At night I got scared because I thought there were monsters in my closet looking out a me through the crack in the curtains! So you might say the scariest place I have ever been was in my mind!




Hey there people – my name is Sarah and I blog over at A Cat-Like Curiosity. I blog about all kinds of things really – DIY projects, Monday Mantras, Etsy Lustings and many many more things. Basically whatever pops into my head.
The main focus of my blog is one of curiosity (hence the title). I am always looking for new things to try, new ways to look at life, and new goals to achieve. My blog began when I stumbled across the book The Secret. I started to write as a way to document my experiences of trying to live with the techniques of this way of life
I started to try and use the techniques in the book to overhaul my outlook on life, and the results were just what I needed. I have been on a journey from being seriously depressed to being full of energy, ideas and inspiration in a very short space of time.
Since starting, I have read and gotten involved in lots of inspirational Life Changing ideas – some I have blogged about, others are more private. But the journey itself has been pretty cool.
So – what can you expect to find over on my blog?
Training reports, links to my Etsy store, my Debt-Free ASAP plan and much, much more.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into my blog and my world. Feel free to head on over and say hello.
Many Thanks to Kim for letting me introduce myself to you guys.

Q. The scariest place is probably walking through the desert in Oman in the middle of the night, trying to get from my Bedouin style hut to the toilet block without stumbling across a scorpion or a camel spider. Yuk!!



Saturday, 2 June 2012

Fantasy Story - Kysharok - part 1

   "Woosh!" A child shouted as he and his small friends ran about, weaving throughout eachother and throwing invisible balls of energy, giggling as they were hit. These were no ordinary balls of energy, however: they were imaginary. Many children dreamed of growing up and learning to use Magic, an energy that anyone with the will power could learn to wield, and many that did went on to gain some kind of renown among people of all classes, whether it be through battle prowess, healing abilities, or just plain talent, be it put to good or bad use. Either way, almost every single sorcerer went on to have their name included in some kind of bard's tale or song, and had the power of the fifth element at their fingertips.
   Panicked chatter began near the children, but they continued their play regardless. Being so young, they should have sensed the power, but it wasn't until one young girl tripped on a rock that they saw the figure clad in black and red running in their direction. She barely had time to scurry out of the way before he bolted past them, his breathing haggard and one arm bunched up at his side.
   He ran past them, his robes whipping out behind him as he went, leaving the children and adults nearby who were clustered around market stalls all staring after him with fear in their eyes.

   He didn't notice the silence he left in his wake, all he could hear was his own ragged breathing, all he could feel was the red hot pain shooting through his side, and the burning of his legs as he ran and ran. He knew he couldn't stop, turn around and run back. He'd already gone too far to save anyone else. He'd done what he could, and had been rewarded thusly. He would keep running until he found the blue door.
   He didn't venture into towns and cities much, preferring to keep to himself on the outskirts or in smaller settlements. In fact, he couldn't really say why he had decided to ride into one such place that day, and while the outcome had been against him, he still thanked his luck that he had. It certainly gave him something new to fret about, and he had managed to save a dozen or so lives. That was the important part that he had to keep reminding himself of to shut out his shame.
   He knew he was slowing down, and in truth, he had no idea if anyone was still chasing him or not. He had run for miles, his robe-like Vankar allowing him all the freedom of movement he needed, and finally his strength was waning. But he was close. The tell-tale scent of Carcyli was slowly beginning to reach his senses.
   He ran faster with renewed energy the stronger it got, and managed to recover, losing little momentum, even as he stumbled over a large rock on the dusty road. He pushed his long brown hair back from his face, having come loose from its binding at the back, and was able to follow the scent with his sharper senses around the correct turns and bends until he finally found a familiar sight.
   He noticed the blue door immediately, as it stood out from the other old, wooden ones. He knew it was the correct place, the door being extremely familiar to him - his doubt was raised only by its location, but, as ever, the rare orange and yellow flowers potted beneath a window served to confirm the crumbling building's occupants. He knew he would be safe inside.
   He didn't allow himself to stop and rest before heading in, however - indeed, he didn't even knock. He grasped the cold handle, threw the door open, darted inside and slammed it shut behind him. Only then did he allow himself to fall to the floor, without even scanning his new surroundings.








I hope you liked it - I might still change the name, but I'll let you all know if I do ^^ This is part 1 of goodness knows how many, and I intend to update it every weekend. I'll make it easier to read by adding "previous" and "next" buttons to the bottom of each piece, too. This work is copyrighted to me by both My Free Copyright, and through the Berne Convention.



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Friday, 1 June 2012

100 Day Challenge

   So I just saw this 100 day challenge over at Nest Building 101, and I decided it's possibly the best thing I could do right now. The idea is to set yourself a goal to better yourself for 100 days - well, I'm not sure my choice is bettering myself as a person, but it's certainly something I need a push with!
   I set myself a goal a few years ago to write 2 pages of  my novel a day, 10 pages a week, and about 44 pages a month in total (giving myself weekends as rest days) - to start with, while I was writing the first book of my trilogy, I stuck to it gloriously, and ended up writing a total of about 450 pages (I did slack here and there, but I was pleased with the out-come) and early this year, I finished the book. Though, now I've started submitting it to agencies (after proof-reading it again and again and again), I've barely written anything of my second installment.
   I'm writing the story for the blog now, too - this has given me a little more energy to write my novel, too, but I'm still finding it hard to sit down and open the file.

   Therefore, my goal is very simple: to try to write 1 page a day for 100 days, straight, weekends included. I expect most of those days I will exceed a single page - it's easy to get caught up in your own world - but I still need to write.

   So I filled out the participation form on Nest Building 101, and was instantly faced with an option to slack: start date. It's funny, but having to fill in a form and submit it to say "yes, I am doing this!" makes it seem quite real, but I'm proud of myself anyway, I set the start date to today. I do enjoy writing, but given the scale of my novel (a frickin trilogy), I can easily start to fall at boring hurdles - not every aspect of stories are great, I remember being profoundly bored reading about Treebeard in The Lord of the Rings - it just went on and on, but it was all important to the story.

   So from this day on, for the next 100 days, I WILL do something that I, frankly, shouldn't be putting off anyway. Wish me luck!


Sod's law says I get writer's block.