roh morgon

~ a new story

More than a few years ago I worked on an anthology project with the Fresno Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers. It had a pretty cool theme, with stories that were connected to a specific family and place, as well as to the stories preceding and following our own.
 
The place was a fictional town in England by the name of Woadsbury (known for growing the woad dye plant and making the blue dye itself). The family was the resident, or in some cases, ruling family of the town. There was no restriction on time period, and so the antho opened with a story that pre-dated history and ended with one set in the far future in space.
 
The story I wrote took place in the early 1600’s during one of Europe’s witch-hunting phases, and was a charming fantasy about a young healer and her dog. It’s my mother’s favorite story that I’ve written.
 
Unfortunately, the FSFW group disbanded and its members are now scattered across the world. Our ambitious little anthology (our second such project) withered away with no one to curate it, and our stories of Woadsbury and its family sit idly by on desktops and laptops and forgotten flash drives.
 
Recently, I took out my Woadsbury story and dusted it off with the idea of fleshing it out a bit and publishing it as a stand-alone novella. In the process, it changed from semi-YA to YA, gained a new title, and tripled in word count (nearly novel-length). It’s also tied more securely to my middle-grade/YA series, Forbidden Doorways, that I’ve been working on here and there for many years.
 
So, to make a long story short (one about me making a short story long), I will be looking for beta readers who enjoy YA fantasy. This is a bit of a sweet romance, with a little humor and a little darkness here and there. Oh, and magic. It has lots of that.
 
Stay tuned for my next post, in which I will include the opening scene from “Saving Magic”.
roh morgon @ Friday, 24 March 2017 10:34 pm
Comments (0)

~bloody hearts blog hop Feb 13-14

Bloody Hearts Blog Hop

Sounds kinda gross, huh?

:)

Well, for those who like their fiction fanged, or dark, or maybe even horrifying, today and tomorrow is the Bloody Hearts Blog Hop, sponsored by Vamplit Publishing. This is your chance to discover new authors of dark fantasy and horror by visiting blogs participating in the hop. Most of the blogs are offering free books and other goodies. I encourage you to visit the blog hop site and check out all the cool happenings.

Visitors to my blog during the Hop (Feb 13-14) who answer the question below in a comment will each receive an e-book copy of The Last Trace.

In addition, all commenters will be entered into a random drawing for a free e-book copy of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen.

But before I reveal the question you must answer to receive a copy of The Last Trace, here’s a little bit about me in case this is the first time you’ve visited my blog:

I write fantasy and horror for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers. Most of my stories center around the paranormal, with worlds inhabited by vampires, shapeshifters, werewolves, and other creatures of their ilk.

My published works at this time are, with one exception, all adult fiction.

Watcher: Book I of The Chosen, is the first novel in a trilogy about Sunny Martin and her struggle to find her place in the world after she’s drained of her blood and awakens as an undead, forcing her to abandon her teenage daughter. In Watcher, Sunny’s search leads her to Colorado where she meets Nicolas, the enigmatic leader of a secret society, and discovers something she thought impossible in her new life – love. But it comes with a high price, and a choice she’s terrified to make.

Watcher is available in both paperback and e-book, and one e-book copy will be given away in a random drawing as part of this blog hop.

Runner: Book II of The Chosen, is scheduled to be released in late Spring 2012.

The Last Trace is a novella of The Chosen and tells the story of Trace Pierre Tasman, an 1800s mountain man stalked by a blood-drinking ‘she-demon’. His story continues in Without a Trace, scheduled for release in Fall 2012. The Last Trace is available as an e-book, and will be available in paperback in March – oh, and it’s the free e-book you’ll receive when you answer the question at the bottom of this post!

The Seduction and The Monster’s Growl are the first two tales in the Monsters in the Machines short story collection and are available as e-books. The third story in the collection, Hellbound Train, will be available in Summer 2012.

My young adult series, Forbidden Doorways, is currently in development. The first novel, Finding the Key, will be available in 2013. A short story from the series, Fur Before Feathers, tells the tale of a young shapeshifter learning to shift, and can be found in the 2010 anthology, I Dreamed a Crooked Dream.

More information on my works, as well as excerpts, can be found on my website, www.rohmorgon.com, and at Dark Dreams Publishing. And if you want to know a little bit more about me, you can check out my writer’s bio!

Now, for the question I’ve been promising you:

Who is your favorite vampire in literature or film (or both!)?

Include your answer in a comment, as well as your preferred e-book format (Kindle, Nook, etc) and I’ll send you an e-book copy of The Last Trace.

And as I mentioned before, everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for a free e-book copy of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, and be sure to check out some of the other bloggers participating in the Bloody Hearts Blog Hop.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

roh morgon @ Monday, 13 February 2012 5:20 am
Comments (13)

~signings

Signings are cool.

They give readers a chance to speak with their favorite authors, and maybe even get a personalized autograph on their favorite book.

They give authors a chance to interact with fans of their books, to see first-hand the gleam that comes into a reader’s eyes when they talk about a story the author has written and what they loved about it, and hear their excitement while they ask when the next one’s going to be available.

Last weekend was my first official signing for Watcher, and it was fantastic. The event was held in Burbank at Dark Delicacies, an awesome shop that carries books, gifts, and collectibles for lovers of dark fantasy and horror.

Five other authors participated:

Everyone was very warm and friendly, and I enjoyed meeting and talking with the other authors.

I was both surprised and humbled by the support I received from friends and family, and friends of family. A steady stream of folks visited with me while I signed their books, and I stayed busy until the event was over.

Dark Delicacies sold all of the Watcher copies they’d requested, plus two more that I brought! Store owners Del and Sue Howison seemed pleased with my turnout, and asked me to come back for the release of my next book. Very cool. I have tremendous respect for them and what they do to support authors and other media professionals in the dark fantasy and horror genre, and I’m thrilled to have participated in one of their events.

Afterwards, a group of us met at Porto’s Cuban Bakery (a Burbank icon) to celebrate with unbelievably delicious pastries and foamy coffee-flavored drinks.

All-in-all, the day was a great success.

And tomorrow, I’m attending another signing event!

The First Annual FSFW Bookfest, sponsored by the Fresno SciFi & Fantasy Writers, is being held at Clovis Book Barn in, well, Clovis.

Clovis Book Barn opened their new store in August. They have 8,000 square feet and two levels filled with both new and used books. The central part of the store is open to the ceiling, and the second level lines the four walls like a wrap-around balcony. A staircase up the middle provides access to the rows of tall bookcases on the upper floor (it reminds me of a library :) ).

The warm and welcoming atmosphere in this store is a sharp contrast to the corporate-sterile environment of Barnes & Noble, our lone remaining book boxstore. Most of the books Clovis Book Barn carries are used, and in some cases, hard to find.

Saturday’s Bookfest, being held from 1:00 – 3:00pm, will showcase FSFW members and their works. Signings, readings, and giveaways are part of the festivities, as well as discussions on everything books.

If you live in the area, please join us to celebrate the efforts of local authors and support this great independent bookstore.

And if not, visit Clovis Book Barn online to check out their amazing inventory. They just might have that book you’ve been looking for.

roh morgon @ Friday, 16 December 2011 2:47 pm
Comments (2)

~with a little help from my friends…

Fresno SciFi & Fantasy WritersWow…

We did it.

:)

Who are ‘we’, you ask?

‘We’ are the:

Fresno SciFi & Fantasy Writers

(cool logo, huh?!)

FSFW is a face-to-face critique group that was founded in April 2008 by Christopher Wood (aka töff). I joined last year, and it was one of the best things I could have done for my career as a writer. The grammar lessons and feedback I’ve received from the group have been priceless. In addition, several members are webgurus, and without them (especially töff and Chris Fontes), I wouldn’t have such an awesome-looking blog and website.

So what did we do that’s so cool?

We made a commitment, wrote and polished some great stories, and self-published our very own anthology. It’s called:

Doesn’t it look great?! The talent in our group is amazing. One of the anthology contributors, Melanie Smith (who is also one of the editors), painted the cover. The cover design, along with the typesetting of the book itself, was done by the other editor, töff.  His 20 years in the printing industry has really come in handy, especially since there are so many different book formats in publishing.

And one of the formats it’s now available in (worldwide!) is Amazon’s Kindle. Check it out on Amazon here!

(wow – to actually see something we’ve worked on for so long listed in Amazon is beyond cool!)

You can also buy the ebook from the FSFW website. The hardcover and trade paperback editions should be available from the site in the next couple weeks – just in time for Christmas.

Here’s a listing of the stories:

The Station by E.A.J. Smith – Isolated aboard a space station during a massive solar flare, a man fights to stay alive and to destroy the thing that keeps him trapped.

Making of a Monster by Melanie Smith – Who can say which choice it is that sets an unassuming boy onto the path that leads to evil?

The Forbidden Chamber by Sarah A. Peterson – Young Sandy and her baby brother take two different approaches to dealing with the ghost of someone else’s past.

Endangered Species by Jim D. Geiser – Vampires now live openly with humans. Can one vampire girl now end the hatred between vampires and their hunters?

The Alley by Earl Scialabba – A boy in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles is torn between his struggling family and the protective camaraderie of his friends.

Into the Grey: The Revelation of Caius Solomon by C. Michael Fontes – A half-angel battles his past, faith, leader, and personal demons when tasked to assassinate an innocent human in 1800s Europe.

Q Flux by Christopher Wood – A mathematician holds his finger on the button that will connect mankind to an alien civilization of unknown power and intent.

The Swordsman by P.D. Wright – A young monk chooses to fight to protect his village, his family, and the girl he loves from foreign invaders.

The Bakkra Encounter by R. Garrett Wilson – Three college students find themselves guests—and prisoners—in an alien world that becomes more hostile the longer they stay.

Fur Before Feathers by Roh Morgon – The choices between right and wrong take on a few extra twists in this coming-of-age tale about a young shapeshifter.

So anyhow, I just wanted to share my excitement and thank the nine other contributors, along with our editors and designers, for all the time and effort spend on making this project happen. And last, but not least, I’d like to thank Ryan Wilson, whose idea for the anthology got us started on this new adventure in publishing.

Thanks, FSFWers, for being such a great group! You’re awesome!

And thank you, töff, for your tireless efforts to make this book a reality.

And yeah, that’s a lot of thanks. But, hey – I’m grateful!

roh morgon @ Saturday, 20 November 2010 2:27 pm
Comments (4)

~the bell rings…it’s the Back-to-School Daze Blogfest!

All right, class! It’s time to turn in your homework! You have until Saturday September 18 to get it in!

And if you’re looking to start handing out grades, go here to read everyone’s assignments.

Here’s mine. It’s the opening scene from Fur Before Feathers, a middle-grade short story from my YA Forbidden Doorways series currently under development. Fur is also appearing in the anthology I Dreamed a Crooked Dream by the Fresno Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers in Winter 2010.

Enjoy!

~~~

“Class? Class! Quiet now. Give him a chance,” says tiny Miss Meeples, clapping her hands. The dozen other kids in Freshman Talent 101 giggle and snicker behind cupped palms.

“Sanders, you just have to concentrate. Try again.” Miss Meeples squints at me through her wrinkles and oversized glasses as she sits down behind her desk in the front of the classroom. The golden retriever strains at the leash tied to a leg of the teacher’s desk, his expression idiotic as he pants and waves his flag of a tail.

I close my eyes and try to think about the dog, but the image of the black panther at the zoo keeps invading my head. His fur was thick, plush, a light black with darker black spots that only showed when the sun hit it just right. His paws were big–bigger than my hands–and his toes were rounded. I think about his face and the way his whiskers poked out of the skin around his black nose. He had small round ears and a long black tail that swung back and forth as he paced. His walk was more of a glide, smooth and silent. One foot, two foot, three foot…

My skin begins to tingle and itch. My insides feel like they’re crawling–now everything is squirming, wiggling. I fall to my hands and knees, and pain shoots through my body as bones and joints begin to creak. The skin on my face pulls as my nose and jaw vibrate. Ow–my whole face hurts. It’s starting to swell. My gums are throbbing and even my teeth ache.

The world blurs as an electric charge shoots through me, starting at my nose and running through each part of my body. I hear, no–feel–a pop. Like a little bomb went off inside me and its shock wave slams through every cell.

I gasp, again and again, the air rushing in and out of my open mouth. When I close it, a million smells burn my nose, all kinds of smells, and then a chaos of sound explodes in my ears.

The other kids in the class are all round me, shouting and talking and breathing and making so much noise. The dog is a raging maniac, barking and growling as he lunges in my direction, hitting the end of the leash over and over. I turn my head to look at my buddy, Jenky, and as I do, I see the black fur of a panther standing behind me.

Shocked, I spin around and it goes with me, tail lashing. I can feel the muscles in my butt twitching in rhythm with each snap of the tail.

As I look behind me again, I sit down, stunned. And when I lift up my hand, what I see is a big, black paw.

Aw, no way!

I lift the other hand and it’s a paw, too. Rocking back, I look between them and down at black furry feet that match my hands.

Oh, cool! I did it!

“Uh, that’s, uh, very good, Sanders! But the assignment was the dog, remember?!” Miss Meeples tries to shout over the barking as she points at the hysterical golden retriever who is inching the desk in my direction with each frenzied leap.

Screw that. I don’t even like dogs. This is way more awesome.

I stand and turn to Jenky. He’s sitting at his desk with his jaw practically in his lap. He looks so funny it cracks me up.

But we both jump when a snarl comes out of my throat instead of laughter. Jenky’s eyes get even bigger as he scrambles out of his desk. He falls over his chair and I laugh–or snarl–again. He crawls away on all fours and the rest of the kids bail out of their seats. The girls scream, and even some of the guys as they rush to stand by Miss Meeples.

All the screaming and barking hurts my ears and I try to yell at them to shut up. The snarls that come out now are louder, rougher, more like roars.

The dog yelps and jams himself under the desk, everyone in the class shrieks, and they all run for the door. Except Miss Meeples, who reminds me of a pinball, bouncing from kid to kid as she tries to stop them from leaving.

“Boys and girls, stop! Stop!” Her shrill voice stabs through my head.

Aaah–I can’t take this anymore. I need to get out of here.

I look up at one of the open windows and, without another thought, leap through it.

The feel of the grass beneath my paws as I land surprises me. I’m more surprised when I fall on my face. Controlling four legs is trickier than it looks.

“That was graceful.”

The voice startles me, and as I jump up, I feel myself begin to vibrate. I concentrate on the panther–and the vibration fades away. I look around me and spot Sullivan leaning against the big elm tree that’s next to the classroom.

He smiles, then in a blur, shifts into a tiger. The tiger strolls over to me and with no warning bats me upside the head with one of his giant paws. He nearly knocks me over and I hiss at him. Standing there staring at me with his grey shifter’s eyes, he looks at the ground and whacks me again.

Oh, you’re gonna pay for that.

With a growl, I spring at him. He meets me with an open mouth and we go down in a flurry of teeth and claws. I can feel my skin ripping as he bites and scratches, but I don’t care because I’m too busy tearing and clawing him. Our fight ends when he pins me beneath his bigger and heavier body.

It’s no different than usual. I quit struggling and lie there, panting, my tail beating the ground in aggravation.

Sullivan whuffs and gets off of me. He shifts back to himself as I climb to my feet.

“Nice first shift, little brother.” Sullivan grins.

My chest swells with pride and a low purr slips from my throat.

“But I wouldn’t be expecting an ‘A’ for that shift, if I were you. Principal’s office is more likely what you’re gonna get. Not only is a panther a long way from a golden retriever, it’s also an illegal shape for minors – you know that.”

I feel my body sag as his words sink in.

Crap. My parents are gonna kill me.

~~~

© 2010 by Roh Morgon. All rights reserved.

roh morgon @ Wednesday, 15 September 2010 12:06 am
Comments (15)

~contests and welcome to a new blogger!

First of all, I want to mention a couple of contests that are going on right now.

Today is the last day for the 100 Followers Contest over at  Critique This WIP. Prizes are chapter critiques by the gang over there – click on the link now to enter!

Roni, of Fiction Groupie, and Julie, of  Diary of an Unpublished Wanna-Be Writer, are hosting Roni and Julie’s Totally Epic Summer Contest.  They’ve been interviewing authors and agents all week, and are offering a variety of fabulous prizes, including books, critiques, and query opportunities. Hurry on over there to enter – contest deadline is Sunday, August 8.

And now, to introduce you to a new blogger!

Melanie Smith is a member of the Fresno Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers and a dear friend of mine. She’s also an editor and a word-crafter par excellence!

Mellie’ new blog is called Thursday-ish. Why? In her words:

“Why Thursday, you ask? Monday and Tuesday are very busy for me.  Wednesday is too finely balanced in the middle of the week, and Friday is busy again, with my mind on other things. Thursday, though, is like an eddy of time in my busy life.  It’s the day I’m most likely to spend with a friend, or painting a watercolor, or writing.  I’m not all that good at deadlines, however, so I’m only promising Thursday-ISH.  It might be later, or I may feel perfectly balanced and write something brilliant on Wednesday.  One never knows…”

So join me in welcoming her, and hop on over to see what she says about her love affair…with words.

roh morgon @ Friday, 6 August 2010 8:11 pm
Comments (4)

~characters that shine and Character Contest #1

REMINDER – Character Contest #1 ends TOMORROW (Saturday July 17) at midnight! Don’t miss out on a chance to win cool book stuff!

~~~~~~~~~

Characters. They literally make or break a story. You can have plot up the bazoo, but if you don’t have characters that entrap the readers, that suck them in and make their hearts race, you have nothing but black marks on a page.

I just finished critiquing nine stories ranging in length from 3,000 to 14,000 words (more than half of them were 10k+). These stories will be published by the Fresno Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers in our first annual anthology this fall.

So I’ve been paying extra attention to character development lately, not only in our anthology stories, but others as well.

Some stories contain dynamic characters that screech up to the reader, slam open the door, and say, “Jump in!” Then they careen down the road at madcap speed, the reader hanging on for dear life, giggling or sobbing at every turn.

In others, sedate characters stroll by, politely asking the reader if they’d like to go for a walk as they pass. The journey can be pleasant and relaxing, or a boring sedative to fall asleep with.

And sometimes the characters are confined by the writer to a park bench, only watching the events unfold around them and not even noticing when the reader asks to join them. Emotionless, unable to interact with their environment, their apathy quickly drives the reader away.

So how do you turn those wallflowers at the prom into the dancing stars that everyone admires and wants to be with? What can you do to turn them from a drab grey to vivid splashes of red, blue, and yellow?

Let ’em speak. Give them a voice. Allow them to cringe in pain, to frown in annoyance, to grin and shout their joy. Every word, every gesture, should be used to lure the reader in and ensnare them in the web of the story. And if it’s done right – if the writer has given their characters the freedom to express themselves – the reader will be thrilled to be caught up in the silken threads of another world, far beyond the reach of their own reality.

I’d like to hear from other writers how you bring your characters to life and what advice you might have to offer for those that are learning the craft.

roh morgon @ Friday, 16 July 2010 3:52 pm
Comments (0)

~characters who impact and Roh’s Character Contest #1

Don’t you love it when a special character in a story refuses to leave your thoughts, even after the story is done?

I recently met one named Weyland in a short story titled “Unicorn Tapestry” by Suzy McKee Charnas.

We get to know Weyland through his therapist, Floria as she begins treatment on who she assumes is a delusional patient. A staid, aging college-professor, he maintains his distance from Floria with a cold formality. But as this spare and intense man reveals the chilling details of his life, Floria begins to question her initial diagnosis. She becomes more and more unsettled by her mysterious patient as he nimbly lays waste to her attempts to unravel his delusions. Their dance with words eventually leads to a dance with death in a spine-tingling conclusion. The end is not quite what we anticipate and leaves the reader (at least this one) thinking about it long after it’s over.

Weyland and his ‘outsider’ existence haunted me enough that I read the story twice. I visited the website of author Suzy McKee Charnas, then wrote to her to tell her of Weyland’s impact on me, and how I have a similar character (Nicolas from Watcher) who haunts me as well. She was kind enough to answer and discuss Weyland, and encouraged me with my writing.

Characters are what keep us reading. There are millions of readers out there who fell in love with Edward and Bella and went on to devour the rest of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. There are millions of others who couldn’t wait to for the next J.K.Rowling to learn what was going to happen to Harry Potter and his friends.

Well-developed characters are what I love, and what I strive for in my writing. Character development is an ongoing topic among writers and lately has been a subject of discussion on several blogs by friends in the Fresno SciFi and Fantasy Writers (FSFW) group.

Something else my friends have been doing in the blogosphere is holding contests in which the winner receives a copy of a recommended book.

I’ve been thinking about this.

And here’s what I’ve decided to do:

I’m going to hold a series of contests based on characters. Each contest will be slightly different, but they’ll all revolve around characters. I’ll be holding them every 3-4 weeks, so stay tuned to this blog.

Here’s the guidelines for Roh’s Character Contest #1:

Most readers have a list of favorite characters from stories they love. I know who mine are — I want to hear about yours.

Comment about one or more of your favorite characters and what books they are from. Each person commenting will receive one entry. The winner will be determined by a random drawing.

There’s a SECOND chance to win as well! It’s also an opportunity to stretch your literary muscles.

Describe your favorite character in your own words and what impact this character has had on your writing, or even on your life. You must include the title of the story, book, or series, along with the author’s name.

Word limit: 198 words or less (1+9+8=18, 1+8=9. I’m a nine freak, remember?).

Check out my three paragraphs above on Weyland for an example (and yes, they total exactly 198 words).

Your entry will be judged on both word craft and strength of argument. In other words, CONVINCE me. Tell me what it is about this character and its effect on you in a way that will compel me (and others) to go buy the book and read it.

Bonus points: If your word count total is a ‘nine’ (the digits add up to nine or a mulitple of nine), you will receive a second entry into the random drawing.

PRIZES:

For the random drawing, the prize will be a gift certificate from Fictionwise for an e-book of the Nebula award-winning Unicorn Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas.

For the character description, the prize is a brand-new softcover copy of Suzy McKee Charnas’ book, The Vampire Tapestries AND a $10 gift card for Borders or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice). The prizes for this portion of the contest are restricted to residents of the continental U.S. only.

CONTEST ENDS:

This contest has been extended. The last day to enter is June 27, 2010 Saturday, July 17 (a nine-day, of course). The random winner will be drawn the following day and notified via email. The character descriptions will be judged during the remainder of the week. The winner will be selected and notified via email by July 6, July 26, 2010.

roh morgon @ Monday, 31 May 2010 3:12 pm
Comments (14)

~The “Let’s Talk” Blogfest and dialog excerpt from Watcher

Fiction Groupie is holding an event called the “Let’s Talk” Blogfest. Participants sign up on her blog, then post a dialog excerpt from their WIP on their own blog.

I heard about this from Chris (one of my friends from FSFW) and immediately thought, “I have the perfect scene. I was just working on it.”

Thanks, Chris, for the heads up!

And without further ado, here is a scene from Watcher (oh, and today is a nine-day, BTW!):

~~~~~~~~~

The first thing I become conscious of is that whatever I’m lying on is not hard.  I cautiously reach out, expecting to feel air, but instead touch softness and fabric.

I open my eyes open and lift my head to look around.  A bed, my bed.  Not a tree branch.

Or maybe it is still a dream, I realize, as I turn and see Nicolas stretched out next to me, leaning on his elbow with his head propped up on his hand.

“Good morning,” he says in a low musical voice, his emerald eyes shining.

As before, words stick in my throat, unable to escape. So this must be a dream after all.

He reaches out and brushes back the hair from my face, then softly strokes my lips.

But that felt pretty real.

He shifts, then leans over and kisses me on the mouth.

Oh, this is definitely real.

I feel my body respond, and then he is crushing me to him.  He holds me tight for a long moment, then slowly releases me and leans back.  He reaches out again and starts working the tangles from my hair with his fingers.

“I was unable to comb all of these out earlier, as you were sleeping on this side.”

“You carried me off the mountain,” I croak, my voice finally breaking free.

“I did,” he says quietly as he continues to pick at my hair.

“You are here.”

“I am.”

“How long have you been here?”

“Since the night you left.  A month ago.”  The pain beneath his words is unmistakeable.

“A month? I’ve been gone a month?”

It’s all a blur of mountains and forests, lakes and meadows, blood and more blood.

He purses his lips, but does not answer. His green eyes watch my face as I feel the wilderness sing in my soul.  He touches my cheek, jarring me back to the present.

“You waited here,” I whisper. “All that time. For me.”

“Yes. I could do…nothing else.” Again I hear the pain, accompanied by loneliness, and wonder how he survived.

Because the only way I did was to give myself to the blood and to the wild.

Once more it calls, and I shut my eyes and remember the colors and smells that caressed my senses, and the wind that softly brushed my skin. Life is so simple out there.  Hunt and run and swim and sleep.  No complicated emotions to manage, no one to argue with, or be disappointed in, or be embraced by, or be loved by.

My eyes grow damp as tears begin to well up beneath their closed lids.

“Sunny.”  His voice is calm and soothing. Feather-light fingers again touch my face.

Startled, my eyes fly open. Yes, he is still here. This is not a dream.

But I need to move, to stretch, to run. My body’s not used to being so still for so long. Slipping out of the bed, I back across the room, watching him. He gets up as well, and part of me starts to panic. I turn to the closet, take out a pair of  jeans and a sweater, and slip them on.  I don’t need shoes–quit wearing them weeks ago.

“I need to go,” I whisper to the floor on my way out.

“Will you come back?” he asks, his voice strained.

“I don’t know. Maybe.” I take a long, slow breath. “Yes. I just need…a little more time.”

Turning, I head for the back door. As I open it, I hear him in the doorway behind me.

“I’ll be here,” he says.

I breathe deeply and step outside, inhaling the pine and other scents that make up the forest, and take off up the mountain at a dead run.

roh morgon @ Wednesday, 19 May 2010 8:28 am
Comments (9)

blogging vs. writing

Okay. I promised myself that I would make a better effort to post more regularly on my blog, yet here it is nearly a month since my last entry.

Fail.

But is it? Yes, as far as my PR plan goes.

However, I’ve been doing exactly what writers are supposed to be doing–writing. And not only did I start a new short story for the Fresno Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers anthology, I finished it. It’s been uploaded to the FSFW forum for critique by the group and I’m supposed to be done with it until the group has reviewed it.

Well, as usual, I’ve already made minor changes to it here and there. A few word swaps, a couple additions, a little rearranging. Oh, and a title change. Guess that last one isn’t so minor.

It’s funny how a sentence that’s been absolutely fine for weeks will suddenly shout out its need for attention. It amazes me how much better a paragraph can sound with one or two word substitutions, or doing something to it as simple as trading ‘s’ for ing.’ Then suddenly a passage that seemed pretty good comes alive and sparks images that dance before the eyes.

I love editing almost as much as writing. But they are very different. Writing is like creating a painting, starting with broad brush strokes and placing key elements on the canvas. As the piece evolves, the scene takes shape, the characters emerge, the conversations and events become clear.

Editing is placing the final details on the work. Faces become expressive and voices carry meaning in their tones that either emphasize or belie the words of the speaker. Situations and action draw the reader in deeper with one synonym or a single italicized word. The painting that may have started out as a blurred abstract becomes as sharp as a photograph.

And what started out as a series of prints becomes the movie that was playing in my head when I first put word to page.

At least, I hope that’s what happens. For the writer can never be sure what the reader sees or feels. And each reader perceives the work differently.

Ultimately, a writer can only hope the reader gains something from the story, whether it’s just to step out of reality for a short while or spend several moments celebrating or commiserating with a character they care about.

So as I congratulate myself on completing a story, I invite you to take a peek at a little sample. It’s called Fur Before Feathers and is part of my new young adult series, Forbidden Doorways. And hopefully you’ll be able to read the entire story by the end of the year when it’s published in the FSFW anthology, along with stories from all our other members.

roh morgon @ Sunday, 21 March 2010 5:40 pm
Comments (1)