1-21b: The Dragon – 2005

A few things I must preface with:

This is not a part of O&E.  So far from cannon it’s laughable, and yet deeply relevant to the world that came to pass.  This occurs in a hevily polished idea of a MMO world I once took part in through my late teens and early twenties.  That said this is best read after finishing the first book of The Storm Cycle.

I cannot say when this was written exactly.  The file claims it was created early in 2005.  This means it is likely a rewrite/edit in the wake of late 2003 first drafts of what would now be Book III’s opening.  The original may be forever lost.  Regardless, dates or drafts aside this is how it all began.  With a girl, a dragon, and a plan so crazy it just might work.

I have done some very minor editing, but this will show some evolution of my writing over the years since it was written nearly 13 years ago.


I shall tell you now a tale from when I was a young wizardess, seeking adventure and fame amidst the lands of the first world.  I have always been a proponent of seeking advantage in a fight, for there are only two kinds of fight in this world, the ones that you must win, or escape, and the ones that could have been avoided but for pride, ego, or a simple lack of skill.  My mentor oft joked that perhaps I missed my true calling in life as a rogue, regardless this was a fight of ego, to which I am no more immune than any.

Now I mention this for it is at the heart of my tale, in every age there has always been one great and defining legendary deed.  The slaying of a great and powerful dragon without assistance.  I was young, impetuous, and determined to do what was claimed by any sane minded person impossible, to slay a dragon with nothing but wit, magic, and potions if need be, at a point in my training where even a fine magical robe could not save me from one slight nip by the fierce breed I had set my sights upon slaying.

I studied long and hard, every text, every tome on dragons which I could find.  I traveled with many brave bands of adventurers seeking the glory of a group kill of the mighty beasts, some tales of which I might tell another time.  All of it came to not, there was no protection great enough but one’s own training, strength, or the fine armor of a warrior to save one from the might of an angered red dragon.

It had been a late night reading on the steps of the great central bank, with foreigners about speaking in broken common of the age, and their own native tongues.  My dear sister K’ia herself had slipped into a slumber amidst her night’s practice in the art of alchemy, and dear sweet K’it had long since sauntered off with some other young woman to discuss the finer points of the less applied uses of healing magics.  I was feeling disheartened, I was a daft fool but by no means suicidal. I was not going into a fight I knew I could not win.

As I plucked a freshly corked bottle of some potion from beside my sister’s sleeping form, I gazed at the blue green liquid within and turned it contemplatively.  It was labeled invisibility, and for a moment I simply stared through it at the moon, bits and pieces of thought slowly congealing into a mad plan, something no one had ever been so daft as to try, and I knew in a heart beat I must do it.

I quickly realized that while I might worm a few potions out of my dear sister without suspicion, to get as many as I needed I would have to turn else where, for I knew she would not approve.  I believe it was a colleague of hers, well practiced and recently mastered in his arts of alchemy that provided a generous quantity of the potions, and for a few coins extra asked no questions, and told no tales.

My supplies gathered my plan was all but complete, but ambitious as my primary undertaking was, a single great beast is perhaps less dangerous than the darkness that may lurk about their lair.  In those days the most reliable place to find dragons was deep within winding dank passages found to the east, infested with undead horrors and wild elementals.  What gave rise to the twisted pit of hell known to some as the bone dungeon was a mystery, no doubt it had once been a dark shrine of ill worship and blackest magery, but it’s masters were long since walking dead, if not simply dust.

After their passing though, and this was more well documented, the main hall of the deepest levels – which opened through caves inaccessible to man in high mountains above – became nest to a red dragon and her children.  To reach the main hall was no small feet but it had been done many a times, and many of her eldest children had fallen to groups of brave adventurers in the past.  Yet there seemed no end to the progeny of the red dragon, so gathering by my side two fellow wizardesses, and a young rogue, who thought me daft, but  was more than ready to amuse them self with my demise, I set forth to brave the forsaken depths.

We had reached the anti-chamber of that great hall that had been nicknamed the red dragon pit, and it was now that I set my plans into action.  Knowing that nothing would protect me from one mistake I striped bare.  It seemed a logical thing to do, if armor interferes with magic, then surely to be completely naked would only strengthen my magic.  The rogue was most amused, and his stares a bit to appreciative for my taste, I considered frying him then and there, but I still needed him for my plan.

The idea was simple enough, the rogue would run in, nab some treasure, his payment for his services, and the dragon who’s attention was caught would be distracted by me, allowing him to slip away and count his cheaply gotten gold.  That part went without a hitch, the rogue slipping into the shadows as I paralyzed then afflicted the dragon with a poison spell, and chugged the ready potion of invisibility, and sank to the floor next to my bag of potions and regents, careful not to jostle the bottles for fear of making a sound.

While dragons are intelligent you see, they are not geniuses, and most red dragons, it is my opinion, at their best barely give dogs a run for their money.  A dragon’s greatest weakness is its temper, they are all as fiery in spirit as they are in breath, and red are by far the worst when it comes to this.  To have been paralyzed, and then stung so impertently angered the beast beyond words, and it bellowed and belched small puffs of smoke.  My plan had worked, the beast was too enraged to focus clearly, its enemy had simply disappeared, had I drawn the mother of the brood I wondered if I would have been so lucky.

Little damage as I had done it worked, time and again having rested to pool my magical energies I would paralyze then strike the beast, little by little weakening it.  I could see the great beast begin to stager after nearly an hour of this trickery, once blinded by rage it was now badly staggering.  Little did I know as I crouched, invisible and slick with sweat from my efforts, fearful that my fragrance would overpower the smell of sulfur in the air and give the stupid beast a clue, that my normal companions were no longer the only ones watching my fool stunt.

For another party of adventurers had come to seek fame for them selves, and having stumbled upon my friends joined them in quiet observation.  In their number was a cleric, who’s name escapes me now, perhaps began with T, and far be it from me to speak ill of the dead, but I do still question if he truly sought a better view of the fight, or my unclad body.

Regardless it all went quite awry, the dragon, though half dead heard the cleric’s footsteps and caught sight of him.   Realizing his mistake he fled, and I, not yet composed for my next strike could do nothing to save him as the dragon crashed through the old weak wall and made short work of the poor man.  Though revenge was taken upon the beast in due course, it was not to be by me alone for my stocks had run too short, and my body too weary to start from scratch, for the beast had replenished it’s health from the cleric’s own life.

By the time all parties could regroup, word it seemed had spread amongst the red dragons, and such trickery never worked again, for even they can learn a lesson aptly now and then.  To you though I offer these lessons, the best laid plans of mortals and wizards may be set asunder by one fool, and no mater how attractive, a better view of a naked woman is not worth your life.

– a tale of K’at, Mage of Entropy

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Content Guidelines

The Storm Cycle was not written specifically for a YA audience, but if the shoe fits…

O&E as a rule but specifically The Storm Cycle will generally not be a “graphic” work.  That is there will not be a significant prevalence of blood and certainly not gore, nor detailed prose about sex acts.  Even as such events are implied (sometimes clearly) by subtext and surrounding conversation.  There will be battles, their natural consequences, and a great deal of exploration around romantic themes as the characters themselves mature.  The Storm Cycle will cover over twenty years through childhood, and into adulthood.

This is far from an antiseptic tale, but I aim to make it a fairly safe one.  That said themes of coming to terms with sexuality will be prevalent through Book II.  Fidelity, jealousy, desire, rejection, betrayal, social prejudice (make of that what you will), and the vast array of emotions involved will at times take center stage.  Even as a great deal occurs off page to extents that will not always be clear.

I think of far greater concern should be the gradual escalation towards war.  That by the end of Book IV there will be blood on the hands of all central characters, however justified it may seem.  Dealing with the very aspect of if violence can be justified will also be a theme, as well as having killed someone who likely or certainly would have killed others.  That even justified force can be deadly force.

There will be little in the way of harsh language, and that which occurs will normally be for specific purpose, or social/linguistic commentary.  On the other side there may be big words, complex turns of phrase, metaphysical and existential quandaries, strange explorations of magical physics, and concepts of all things, tied to order & entropy.  It can be mature and challenging as such in a very intellectual sense that alone should rule out the particularly young.

Parental Guidance is recommended – and that means if you really care, read it yourself, and then decide.  That said, here are my rough guidelines.

Book I: Recommended 13+

Focal Characters: 4-14
Violence: Infrequent but moderate in intensity, several minor battles.
Sexuality: Primarily subtext, but descriptions of strong youthful desire near the end.

Death and Loss are notable themes.  Political and religious strife apparent.

Book II: Recommended 15+

Focal Characters: 15-18
Violence: Moderate in both frequency and intensity.
Trauma: Dealing with the consequences of ones actions in battle.
Sexuality: A central theme for one character, as are social rejection, heartbreak, and complex ideas about fidelity, and identity.  Multiple frank conversations occur.

Book II is very much about the line between responsibility to oneself and to others.  About doing what is necessary, even if one is rejected for who they are.

Book III: Recommended 16+

Focal Characters: 18-20s
Violence: Moderate in both frequency and intensity.
Sexuality: Prevalent as a background element, but generally off page, and unspecific.

Book III is a tale about leaving home, and finding a place in an uncertain world.  It was the first book started in the series, all the way back in 2004, but floundered without building the history that fell out of Book I & II.

Book IV: Recommended 16+

Focal Characters: Mid 20s
Violence: Notable.  There will be a war, and quite a lot of death.
Sexuality: Likely muted due to the urgency of events.

Book IV is a story about facing what one has been running from, and standing up in time of need, even knowing it could cost one everything.


As a closing thought, I will switch from the difficult case to make for why content may not be appropriate for a given audience, to the even more trecherous case to be made for why it might be.

The human experience, is the human experience.  Though it varies by circumstance, social pressures, and prejudices.  Being gay for instance can be much harder than being straight, and that can be hard enough.  Being cheated on, or for that matter cheating.  Even harder ideas like arrangements that aren’t cheated, but can still be painful.

The shadows of adult troubles are present throughout every child’s life.  They can be missed or noticed in the actions and words of adults, but eventually they become the troubles of a young adult, and at last an adult.  We can pretend they do not happen, but I think often such pretense exists only in the minds of adults, and to blatantly quote myself: “Seeing the stones before us, is not what makes us stumble.”

The value of YA fiction is often considered to be the chance to provide context for the experiences they face, and while I will proudly say I have not written a message work, it does contain a lot of incidental messages that I think are both positive, and measured.  Ideas about the nature of knowledge, questioning preconceived notions, and the dangers of unexamined beliefs.  Dealing with being rejected for being different, or being hated for things that are beyond ones control.

The Creative Process & Young Love

The core story of O&E has been settled for about six years now, but they say the Abyss is in the details.  When Cassandra first uttered her prophetic ramblings in the streets of Brokhal, was when I first truly grasped the underpinnings of the tale I was weaving.  All at once I would argue my interest has always been in the simple humanity of my star crossed heroes.  Destined to uncommon deeds, and troubling ends.

The whole of the first draft for the original Book 1 (now Book 1 & 2) was a “mere” 135k words.  Each of the halves I split the tale into are now as long, or longer than the original manuscript, and sometimes I still feel that I am rushing things.  Telling a story woven across decades, following the course of my heroes from practically birth to their prophesied fates has certainly proven a challenge to balance.  I may one day do yet another pass, adding more abridging text to the longer stretches of skipped time, or where dates alone do not convey the break between events.  Evening out my mysterious narrator, who usually does a good job of staying neutral.  If anything I long to show some more subtle cracks in that facade, than clean up the ones that appear.

There have been many changes along the way, but as the analogy occurs for poor old Ezik, all has been in service of cutting the course deeper, and defying the rains to change a thing.  That said, Book 1 got far more love than Book 2 in the years I sat, and noodled with the manuscript and dates (I trimmed 400 years off the calendar at some point.)  Book 2 I have found around the middle, and into the latter half developed some problems.  Logistical miss matches of time.  While I am excited about the content that is filling the gaps, and think with some confidence that I am telling an even more compelling story, and will hopefully meet my deadlines, I do worry.

I am currently racing the clock, and trying to complete Book 2 by adding roughly two chapters worth of content, maybe a little more, into the middle.  Hopefully without dropping publishing cadence.  All in an effort to smooth out time, and make the twins years apart feel more substantial, and meaningful.  I do worry though that this fresh content, however compelling, may show some seams.  It will not have the years of editing passes behind it that earlier content has.

This further puts at risk Book III’s time table, since all my free time and energy is going into Book II currently, when I had hoped to perhaps finish Book III while I was publishing Book II.  A task that looks less, and less likely, but a bridge I will just have to cross when I come to it.

At any rate, I hope you will all indulge me some failures, and please, offer critique where something seems confusing, or out of place.  I really do want to hear what my readers think, and get this right.  So let me tackle some things that are troubling me:

Spoiler Warning: Discussing content for readers up to Book II: Chapter 8, slight allusions to future content without specifics.

I particularly hesitate around some moments that make me as an author uncomfortable.  I honestly get angry that they make me uncomfortable.

From such things as daring to even allude to menstruation, and there will be one more mention that naturally falls out of dialogue in Chapter 11.  This shouldn’t bother me, it actually doesn’t bother me, but it does make me self-conscious.  It actually makes me very mad that it does.  I fret, and worry about making silly squeamish male readers cringe, and on the other side that where it occurs in The Winter Frost is meant to be a painfully awkward, touching, and yes intimate moment between two friends who wind up (later) lovers.  This all gets inextricably tied up with so many hangups in our society, and I grudgingly embrace that all the more means it needs to be there.

I am literally playing here with the fantasy for many women of being rid of this nuisance in their lives (which in our world can sometimes be done with alternative versions of birth control – oh wait, relevant…) all the while shifting the trouble onto something that requires time, and attention.  While I totally romanticize this scene, I do so more as a stumbling block, because dear fates how ever much Celia is more certain at the end she loves Katrisha, and however little shame has been put on her over the topic, she just can’t bring herself to reveal her heart under the circumstances.  Which makes it harder over all.

If anyone noticed, yes I am intentionally playing with seasons and cycles here.  With winter ending, spring coming, and “skipping the fall.”  I also very much wanted to explore the mechanics of how people use their gift having subtle effects.  From mage blood poisoning screwing up Katrisha’s health, and delaying development, to Wren developing very early, to Celia being ahead of Katrisha even though she was behind Wren.

Now – onto the other side here.  Yes, lesbian (or should I say Lycian) romance.  I am apparently intent on making this labor of love as niche as I can.  I do not want to spoil anything, but I will be plain.  It is going to get so much more complicated than that, and I will be dodging around the minefield of dealing with complex sexuality in what is arguably (if accidentally) young adult fiction.  While moralizing far more ambiguously about society than about the actions of individuals.

I cringe half as much for what I will be cutting out, as for what I will leave in.  So many things that are tempting to lay out flatly, and challengingly, and all at once I am unwilling to derail my content rating on.  I will leave a great deal to the imagination where it belongs, and on the topic of things Katrisha will learn from Celia, I will suffice with the railings of a young Sylvia Grey, some centuries before:

“To think I had imagined not knowing a word for a part of my own body.  I should almost find this preferable to the realization that I knew full well at least three expressions for parts of a boy, and could not say from whence exactly I learned them.  No, worse, was the fact that I did – without context – know a word for my own anatomy.  A word that was a favored slur on my father’s lips for women and men alike.  That so plainly highlighted his innate hatred for women, to at last attach proper definition.  I rail between spite for the abusive misuse, and a wish to scream it from the rooftops until there is no power left but to describe simple fact.  All at once I am bereft of specifics, on the parts, the complexity, of an organ that even the most detailed medical texts reduce inaccurately to a vessel for other things, and not as I have found, a source of joy, particularly in aspects they have willfully forgone to even mention the existence of.”

Fates I love writing in the voice of Sylvia.  So delightfully and justifiably angry that one.

Afterword

< Book 1 || Book 2 >

With the final chapter of Book 1 now published, I thought I’d share my thoughts.  A small peak behind the curtain follows, so read if you like that kind of thing, or don’t if you prefer to maintain a deeper level of mystique.  Certainly finish Book 1:21 first!

This is far more about the author, and why the tale is as written, and not necessary to understand what is to come.  There may also be a very tiny spoiler in the middle for the highly observant, but it really is quite insignificant, and only a chapter away at that.

Continue reading “Afterword”

About the Author

The Past:

I wrote my first book when I was six.  I’m not saying it was Shakespeare, all that much longer than a few tweets, or that I remember any more than someone in a ship did something terribly important – probably saving some world of fuzzy things.  It was also illustrated, however poorly as a six year old is apt to do.  Alas that great manuscript is forever lost.  That’s where it started though.  I’ve spent my life obsessed with building worlds, the histories behind the people that live in them, and struggling with the challenge that is taking a setting and characters that compel me to a meaningful destination.  The journey is important, and most assuredly hard.

I took my first stab at writing a proper novel sometime around ten, and spent years re-writing those first chapters of two books over, and over again.  I added quite a few more to the list of endless re-hashing over the next decade or so.  I’ll get back to those worlds some day (as if I don’t visit often,) but for now I am here, and the tale of the Ashtons and the world that grew exponentially around them is farther than anything else I’ve ever tried before.

Even my currently profitable career as a tech-artist is a path I stumbled down out of my desire to tell stories, and my frustrations with the tools presented to me.  Be it the organizational process of redesigning history, society, and the interpersonal events of day to day life, or the want to craft tales that do not tell so much as show.  (Character illustration is also notably time consuming.)  Or just the uphill battle of vision that always exceeds scope.  I don’t do small, simple, or short easily, and almost every time I try it gets away from me.

I have always been a daydreamer, drawn inexorably to the gravitational pull of the mysteries in human existence.  A fundamental philosophical agnostic, far beyond the bounds of theology and into the realm of knowledge itself.  Nothing is truly knowable, but it sure is fun to try.  More honestly I long ago came to the conclusion that no knowledge is absolute, no truth perfect.  There are only questions and turtles, all the way down.

I readily ponder the point in our fascination with fantasy.  The pull of magical thinking that permits us to embrace the idea of mages, dragons, spells, and occasionally even moral government.  Really no more fantastical than swords made of light, engines that warp space time, and little blue boxes that are bigger on the inside.  I write that kind of fantasy too.

I can only presume that there is some fundamental survival value in our determination to ask “what if,” even if what follows is close to gibberish.  A determination to challenge the status quo even if that might be gravity itself.  What if I flap my arms?  No.  What if I use a sling shot?  Probably not.  What if I light literal tons of oxygen and hydrogen under my ass? Sometimes.

The Present:

In my day job I write code and make art.  I deal both in the quantifiable certainty of mathematics (not always as certain as you might think,) and the ephemeral chaos of fudging it till it feels right (which some would argue is a science!)  The strange reality that while a single switch gives you black and white, eight give you a couple hundred shades of gray, three ‘channels’ of these and you have millions of colors.  Then maddening as it is, the fuzzy organic mechanisms of the human eye can still see hard lines between them.

I like to approach magic rationally.  There is no distinction between magic and physics within the context of a fantasy world.  Magic is in that sense Science, mysticism on the other hand is the cargo-cult of failing to test what parts of the process actually achieve a result, or even to ponder if correlation is not equal to causation.  It is the failure to check if our accepted understanding of how space is shaped or light works, is not an over simplification of something gloriously more complex.  Dogma is available to all possible world views, and all worlds filled with emotional beings.

Which is not to say I do not obsess over mysticism, and religious ideas.  How we arrive at our faiths, and scientific certainties, that are always just a little off fact (what ever that might be.)  I am however far more interested in switching the pieces around to make something new, than believing in something unknowable.  I am more interested in exploring the divine mysteries, than accepting someone else’s answers to them.

I am deeply fascinated by how things work.  Less the very particular parts of chemistry, the resistors, how the switch works, but rather to grasp the fact that under all that, there is a switch.  If black and white make up the system, it informs what that system will become, as surely as shades of gray change the game.

We are fuzzy organic systems filled with quantum uncertainty, living in a binary world.  Not just the technological age that we are now in, but the monotheistic construct of binary morality we have built western civilization on for centuries.  Although I like to assert it is really dithiestic, as god and the devil represent polar opposites.  Any distinction of ordinal or power disparity between them is trivial in the actual application of how it informs world views into discreet buckets of good and evil.  Black and white.  On and off.

The world of O&E is one shaped by a very different moral conflict.  It is not a battle between gods for the worship of mortals, but the more direct struggle of mortals in abstract of clear personal gods, over the very idea of morality.  The pragmatic Clarions obsessed with an idea of a march towards a perfect being – in essence to create or become god – and the “chaotic good” view of morality above progress or rules.  Set further again against even more upheaval from greed and ambition with or without faith.  For some, greed and ambition are their faith.

The Future:

The Storm Cycle has four planned books – tentatively titled (no spoilers):

  • Rain in Avrale (Complete & Published – aka Children of Avrale)
  • Dust the Wind (Publishing in Progress)
  • The Weathered Road (20% written)
  • Stormfall (fragments and the end written)

There are also two supplemental books I strongly intend to write in the same time period, and involving secondary characters:

  • The Rose of Osyrae: (general outline)
    • A tale split between the schemes of the palace and the streets of the capital.
  • Liora’s Lament: (general outline)
    • A defiant young girl’s path through an order that thinks little of women.

Other books set on Thaea that I hope to get to – many tentatively titled:

  • Path of the Maji:
    • The Last Witch (40% written)
      • Set in ancient Lycia at the dawn of the age of Kings.
    • Lady of the Vales
      • The rise to power of First Queen Navi.
    • The First King
      • The beginnings of magic, and the overturning of the old order.
  • The Empire Chronicles:
    • The Wolf and the Imperator – the fall of Lycia and the founding of Corinthia.
    • Heirs to the Wind – how a nation became an Empire to span the world.
    • The Shape of Dragons (many fragments written)
      • The rise of dragons, and fall of an empire’s golden age.

However all consuming O&E tends to be – is far from the only world I want to share with the people of ours.  Here is just a small peak at a few notable for being close to completion or publication.

The Granddaughter Paradox: (first draft complete)

A tale of first contact and political maneuvering in the thirty-first century.  Pondering the nature of a ‘post singularity’ near immortal humanity, and inspired by one of the more chilling solutions to the Fermi paradox.  One of several completed manuscripts in my back pocket.  Other books started, and under consideration.

The Architect of Babylon: (first book 60% written)

First book in a series re-imagining Judo-Christian and other myth by fragmenting the role of the devil, and leaving God an uncomfortably open question no one might like the answer to.  Two or more books currently planed.

The Roses & The Raven: (completed short story)

An unconventional stab at a conventional fairytale format.  Following the schemes of a witch to over throw a Witch Queen who has cursed and conquered a once great and (ig)noble land, and two young friends that find themselves the crucial pawns in a dangerous game of magic and prophecy.  This has spawned further exploration of the youth of the Raven Witch, and the fall of that once proud land, that is so far incomplete.

And dear god – far too many more.

1-12b: Afternoon in Aldermor

This is quite a bit sexier than anything else in Book 1, and about on par with a number of sections in Book 2.  That’s not quite the reason it didn’t make the cut for Chapter 12, and more that while I like the scene, and consider it cannon I felt it broke the flow a bit, and threw, actually quite a few things in the reader’s face more than I wanted to.  It was also written well after Chapter 12’s first draft.

While there is nothing here I would consider a true spoiler (for anyone up through Chapter 12,) the very observant among my readers may feel a bit more clever, and the slightly less observant might go, “oh.”  Anything else is mere speculation.  Read or don’t, at your prerogative.

PG-13 for adult themes, and conversations.

⁃ ◇ ❖ ◇ ⁃

Continue reading “1-12b: Afternoon in Aldermor”

Considering Audiences

I think about this a lot, and I find it hard to come to any solid conclusions.  I’m writing ultimately for myself.  Because these stories are in me, and need to get out.  I’m writing for my younger self who was always a bit mature for any given age, and for my older self that is still daydreaming of dragons, and the mighty damsels who might dare challenge them.

Order & Entropy is…well, I’d like to think a complex, and textured work.  It is in my heart a living breathing world which contains almost all the things ours does for good and ill, and quite a few things it doesn’t.  It will over the course of the many planned (and unplanned) books, side stories, centuries if not millennia of history touch on all those tricky things humans get up to.  Both the ones we do in private, that are ever so shameful, and those things we see fit to commit quite publicly, like wage wars, commit atrocities, and proclaim hate speech.

I never intentionally set out to write YA fiction. The original endeavor was focused on twenty something siblings setting out into an uncertain world, and trying to find their place in it.  This however became an exploration of their growing up, and cut an unintentionally younger swath throug a world that may tend to skew older in later works.

I think that said it is at very least a PG-13/15 literary endeavor, even if perhaps much of the first book might be passible in the eyes of most for a younger audience – well, unless they look too close at subtext, and are very particular about certain things.  I would hope it would largely appeal both to an older young-adult audience, and to adults – while being appropriate in my view for each.  This isn’t Game of Thrones (though some historical tales may get quite brutal, and there is a war coming…some day,) but it also sure as heck isn’t Harry Potter.  Parental Guidance is always a good thing – well – within reason…

Everyone is different of course, we all have our own world views.  I grew up in a household where – well, for some reason Disney films generally skated, but that seemed an odd aberration given the belief that ~ all depictions of magic in entertainment were basically devil worship.  Further so many people seem quite ok with quite a lot of violence, but how dare you even allude to sex being a thing that happens, people do, or that might happen between someone other than a husband and wife.  Then on the other side some are very sensitive about violence, which I consider an all together more understandable position…but it is a thing that happens, and conflict for better or worse is both interesting, and more importantly part of any plausible world.

There will be love, there will be hate, there will be childishness (particularly among adults, petulant things that they are,) and woven among the Power, Prophecy, and Politics there will be Passion, and all the consequences, dangerous dances, and foolish mistakes it leads to.  Just not a lot of tedious details about the how, that might threaten to drown the story in the weeds.

I bring this up not as any particular response to something coming up in the next chapter or two, just thoughts I figured I’d share.  Reasons why I have decided to chase the elusive beast of self publishing, rather than tangle with the web of mixed blessing that could come from a more traditional route.  I aim, not to be traditional, after all.