Thursday, October 24, 2013

More Archaic Words and Phrases

Good morning, friends!

Its been a busy week so far. I am putting the final changes to The Priestess and the Ravenknight and while I was doing this I jotted down a few new words to share with you this fine cool October day. Again, I have looked these up using or I try to avoid any words that weren't invented until after the 17th century. The earlier, the better! For those readers who are new here, I have a fondness for archaic/old terminology in my writing. Those of you who write historical or medieval fiction may find these helpful and interesting.

Shrewed - Middle English - First Known Use: 13th century
1. archaic :  mischievous     2. obsolete :  abusive, shrewish   
3. obsolete :  ominous, dangerous
It now also means severe, stubborn, hard and savvy.

Bode - Middle English - First Known Use: before 12th century
1. archaic :  to announce beforehand :  foretell
2. to indicate by signs :  presage 
Evermore - First Known Use: 13th century
1. Forever, always, in the future, eternally, everlastingly

KnaveMiddle English - First Known Use: before 12th century
This word has changed a lot from it's archaic use. 
1. archaic : a boy or male servant. A man of humble birth.
2. A playing card also known as a jack.
3. A deceitful fellow.

Tidings - Middle English - First Known Use: before 12th century
1.  a piece of news —usually used in plural <good tidings>
Villein/Villain Middle English - First Known Use: before 14th century
1. (in medieval Europe) a peasant personally bound to his lord, to whom he paid dues and services, sometimes commuted to rents, in return for his land

We will be undone = We will be ruined or destroyed.

I bear no malice = I feel no anger towards someone/something. I feel no desire to harm.

Do not vex me. = Don't confuse or annoy me. 

I have a score of tasks to accomplish. = I have a great number (or lots) of things to do.

You have pluck! = You have courage!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Goblins got my Dragonling!

It's not even Halloween yet, and I have just discovered that my old but cherished website ( has been possibly hacked by goblins. I wish to emphasize that at this time it is only possibly so, and not yet confirmed. So please don't go there until I can learn more. I have decided that I need to warn you all and remove the link I have to my virtual fantasy realm until I learn what has happened and what can be done about it, if anything.

I found out about it last Friday and have spend many hours now trying to do what I can instead of writing more pleasant posts or drawings. I went to my webhost ( who I've been with for almost 20 years now and the tech rep there did a scan. He assures me his scanning indicates there is NO malicious code or malware on any of my webpages. He said that Google just saw something unexpected and decided to blacklist my site as a safety measure. He had me fill a form to pass on his scan info to Google and request that webpages be reviewed again.

That was all done last Friday and I am still waiting to hear from Google.

I have since then changed my passwords associated with my web hosting service, access area, Cpanel, etc... and I spent hours looking at the source code trying to find anything I can recognize as being abnormal or suspicious. So far I've found nothing, but I am no expert. Then I decided to simplify the home page, removing many links there in the hopes that will deleted whatever problem Google saw. I have visited the website many times (once I could get past the Google BLOCK webpages) and I have checked my laptop over and over for any viruses or malware using Trend Micro. All looks and seems clean and unaffected. No problems whatsoever.

So, I don't really know if goblin hackers have really done anything to my beloved website, but I care about my friends and readers who come here to let you all know why I haven't been posting normal news and stories and won't be for a few more days. I will be back to my normal posts next week.

While I wait on Google's results, I'll look into other places where I can host that might be safer from hacking. I welcome any suggestions or help to speed up solving this problem. Funds are very limited so my options are too. I am thinking of re-creating in Wordpress or Blogger or one of the many FREE website companies online. I will need about forty webpages to move my entire realm over.

I hope it doesn't come to this.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My NEW bookcover for P&R

When I first wrote The Priestess and the Ravenknight I only needed to create the front cover for the ebook. This is what I came up with. I decided to make a knight's shield, sort of with the title on the front. Since this shield was for a ravenknight and a dark elf, I decided it should have pointy edges. What I wasn't too crazy about was the way the gold didn't seem to pop from the shield. I tried different colors but this gold seemed to be the best choice.

Ebook Cover

Now that I am going to have this published as a tradebook, I tried once again to make the title pop better and add a little more contrast. I am happier with this new version. I chose a different font that I think is more appropriate for my story. Disregard the salmon pink edge around the graphic. That won't be there. I welcome any advice or thoughts on my new book cover. I know there are some designers out there and I welcome your input. Thanks!

You can click and preview this graphic to make it larger so you can also read the blurbs. I welcome any constructive criticism for blurbs, colors, design, anything. Thanks again! The proof copy is on it's way and so there is time for final changes before it goes on sale.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dalyn and Lyrica

Back in April, I started working on a drawing that I'm going to use for inspiration for my third book about pirates and mermaids. It will feature Dalyn the pirate and Lyrica, a Swansong mermaid. I first started the drawing with a pencil sketch, then I inked it.

Once the basic drawing is done, I scan the image and pull it into Photoshop or another graphics program and begin digitally coloring it.

Last April, I showed what the image looked like and then just slapped a photo background to it so you could see what I had in mind. This drawing is not necessarily going to go into future book. I do these drawings to inspire me. I put them on my walls, in project notebooks and online so that I can look at them while I write about them. I have to admit, I am pretty lazy when it come to do backgrounds so I often cheat and either use photos, Internet and books.

Summer came and went and for me, it's really hard to get back to a project I put down and put away. I need to finish it even if it takes me long hours and several days to do it, or it doesn't get down. That's what happened to this graphic. Anyway, after months of setting this aside so I can concentrate on turning The Priestess and the Ravenknight into a trade book, I have finally pulled up this graphic and one afternoon (at the ranch! =P) and spent a several hours finishing it. FINALLY!

I printed it out and put it on the cover of my notebook. Now I need to get to this book next and I hope to resume writing that story very soon. The working title is The Sirens of Swansong for now. I am still doing research for it but I have started the first few chapters.

This time I did do the background, but I don't think it came out very good. Still, this will do unless I decide to sell this image somehow either by making cards or small posters. But for a notebook, this will do. Hope you like it. If you have suggestions or mermaid graphics you have done, I encourage you to share it with me.  Have a great day and keep on writing... or drawing... whatever you do!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Worldbuilding: Holidays for Fictional Worlds

It's October and it's time to break out the boxes of various holiday decorations and feverishly make new ones if I plan to participate in any of the several holiday craft fairs in my city. This thought brought me to wondering if I should create holidays for my fictional world. If you have read some of my previous posts, there is a festival of Wynterfest which is mainly celebrated up in the frozen country of Wynterlande.

The topic today is: Should a writer and world builder bother with creating holidays for their fictional world?

I did a little research this morning and the first place I went to was Middle Ages Holidays. Since Tiaera is basically a "parallel earth" with added magic and planetary differences, I tend to write about Earth's Middle Ages. Something one must consider is religion. Since Tiaera has no Christianity as a religion, I can't use any of the christian practices of the Middle Ages and as I see at that website, most of the holidays were church related. Tiaera is set in the Middle Ages, but it was created by a goddess I made up named Astria. Since she is not historical, I am free to make up any holidays and festivals as I see fit. Oh, this is going to be fun! LOL! But before I can begin this I need to get some ideas and figure out what to do.  A writer shouldn't create holidays just because they want to. Holidays should never interfere with your book or story.

If you are building a fictional world similar to earth, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are you going to keep writing about your fictional world long after the book you're writing is done? It so, then time will pass... months, years, etc... and holidays may work to set the scene of your next story on that world.

2. What period or era are you writing about? Historical? Futuristic? Modern age?

3. Does your world have seasons and is it worth noting this in your writing?

4. Does your world have gods? If it is parallel to earth, are there religions and gods like our own?

5. What kind of holidays should you create? Religious? Meaningful and significant? Seasonal?

6. How are your inhabitants going to recognize such holidays? Festivals? Traditions?

The more I think about Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, the more I have to consider what I will want to use for future blog stories like my current one: Add a Spark for Valor.
As I (and sometimes Jack) continue with the chapters (posts) for this story, it will be fun to work on holidays as the background settings that can add to the plot much like we did in Realmwalkers.

I hope this post makes you think about your fictional world. Do some research and determine if your book or stories would benefit from such events. Soap Operas on TV used the holidays. Internet and video games use them. Books too. Let me know what you think about this. Are you going to add some holidays? If so, feel free to comment and tell me about them. I bet there are some great ideas out there!