deza: (Tassie)
Once upon a time, there was a young boy we'll call Christopher Robin. Christopher Robin had many adventures in the 100 Aker Wood with his best friend, Pooh Bear.

This story is about his mother.

You see, Christopher Robin's mother, [ profile] alycewilson, was a very special person. She loved words and imagination and magical thinking, and it was from her that Christopher Robin learned the secret of travelling to the 100 Aker Wood.

Alyce, herself, had fallen through a looking-glass in her youth, and kept the secrets of that world close to her ever after. Even after she returned to the mundane world she knew what magic waited on the far side of the glass. Knowing what exists that other people don't see is an incredibly lonely feeling. Alyce set herself a quest that had nothing to do with walruses, flamingos or Red Queens and instead had everything to do with finding other people who knew what lay on the far sides of looking-glasses, beyond the backs of wardrobes, over rainbows and past the lands of dreams. She searched high and low. Eventually she began finding other people like her, and one day found herself in an even stranger place than Wonderland -- Otakon.

Alyce had come home.

Otakon, like many magical places, can only be reached when the timing is exactly right. Fortunately other people who had found Otakon still live in the mundane world, and soon Alyce had her very own Gryphon.

This has been my entry for Miniseason B, Week 0, Introduction. I haven't met [ profile] alycewilson in person yet, but with the help of The Cousin and The Photographer I'm hoping to remedy that at the next Otakon.
deza: (Finger Dragon)
Norton was a dragon.

He wasn't a great green giant of a dragon like his father. He wasn't a swift, graceful blue dragon like his mother. He wasn't even a reflective dragon, with scales that sparkled with all the colors of the ocean in the sun, like his sister Lea.

Norton was a drab, olive-green dragon. If he stayed very still, sometimes his family would mistake him for an oddly-shaped boulder in their cave. Then one of his orange ear-tufts would twitch, or the light would glint off his glasses, and he was just Norton again.

Then there was Norton's tail. No matter how hard he tried to keep his tail wrapped around his claws like a proper dragon, when he stopped thinking about it his tail would slowly creep up, up, until it arched over his back and the tip hung down between his eyes. His mother told him that when he was a tiny hatchling, he used to suck his tail-tip at night to go to sleep. He didn't tell her that sometimes he still did.

Every day, Norton would go to the back of his cave and practice breathing fire. He would look at the seventeen trophies his father had won for fire-breathing at the the DragonFair, plant his feet wide, think hard about the natural fire in his belly, drawn in a deep breath... and blow a perfect smoke ring. Sometimes he'd puff out four smoke rings in a row, each a little smaller than the last so they made lovely cones. Sometimes the smoke rings looked like flowers, or hearts, or even a herd of horses galloping around the back of the cave. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get the smallest flicker of flame.

At night, his father would ask him, "How's the fire coming along, sport?"

Norton would sigh and his stomach would knot up. "Still can't get it, dad."

His father would shake his great dark green head sadly. "You know how important this is, Norton. It's every dragon's duty to defend our homeland from those barbaric humans, and the only weapons we have are fire, tooth and claw. And quite frankly, Norton, you aren't any prize in the tooth and claw department. You have got to stop this lollygagging around and get that fire of yours working, son. I know you can do it! By the time I was your age, I'd already won my first trophy, breathing against a big red three times my size! If I can do it, so can you."

Norton knew every word by heart, and as his father talked his ear tufts would droop lower and lower. It only ended when he excused himself to go to the back of the cave, where he would blow smoke rings until he fell asleep. In the morning he'd wake up in a puddle of drool, sucking on his tail tip again.

Sometimes Norton would run away for the afternoon, to his secret cave. It was bare and windy, facing out of a bluff over the ocean, not a proper dragon-cave at all. But it was his private place, where he would keep pretty stones and shells he found on the beach, and the soft feathers he picked up in the forest. He even made some shelves out of shed deer antlers and driftwood, just right for showing shiny bits of mica in the light of the setting sun.

He was on his way there one afternoon when he found himself surrounded by a clutch of tarragons, the young, popular girl dragons. Of course, Lea was heading them up.

"Where do you think you're going, Snort?" she asked, pokig him with a wingtip. "All of the real drakes are going lightning dancing today."

"And we're going to watch," added a pretty gold dragon. She carefully studied the glittery pink polish on her claws. "Why aren't you going? Maybe you could learn something."

"He can't lightning-dance," Lea said nastily. "You have to breath fire to do that, don't you, Snort? And freaks aren't welcome."

A small red let out a gasp of mock surprise. "You mean he's emberly-challeneged?" The tarragons all laughed. They all knew Norton couldn't breathe fire.

"Leave me alone, Lea," Norton said, trying not to let tears well up in his eyes. Dragon tears turned to crystal as they fell, and Lea already had a collection of his.

"Like we'd want to spend time with you, Snort," Lea replied. You aren't a dragon, you're a smokehouse!"

"More like an outhouse," the red said, daintily waving a wingtip in front of her nose. And with that, the tarragons flew off, laughing and discussing which drake would do the best lightning dance of the day.

Norton waited til they were out of sight before entering his cave. The last thing he wanted was Lea finding his hiding spot. He knew she'd wreck it, just out to be mean.

"Stupid Lea," he muttered, looking out over the sun sparkling on the ocean waves. "Stupid lightning dances."

Then he noticed something black creeping across the waves. Long, and thin, with many leg-like sticks poking out from the sides and digging into the water. Lots of them.

"Humans!" Norton gasped.

Norton knew if he stayed hidden in his cave, the humans would never find him. but what about the other dragons? They would rampage through the caves, tearing up everything they could get their hands on, smashing eggs and attacking hatchlings that couldn't fly. But if Norton flew off to the lightning-dances to warn the other dragons, he wouldn't know where the humans landed. What if no one believed him?

No, Norton needed to take care of this, and take care of it now.

He flew to a little rock outcropping downwind from the ship. He set his feet, concentrated on the fire in his belly, took a deep breath and started blowing smoke rings.he puffed and puffed, the smoke blowing out to wreath around the humans in their ships. He blew smoke until he felt faint, then kept growing. He blew out enough smoke that he couldn't see the humans or their ships at all. From the sounds he was hearing, the shouts and the crunch of wood on wood, the humans couldn't see so well either. Finally, when his throat was so dry he could barely cough, he flew up high enough to see over the smoke bank he'd made.

The human ships were sailing the other way.

Norton was so happy he flew straight to the lightning cloud where the drakes were dancing. He found his father and told him what had happened.

Norton's father gathered up some of the other older drakes, and they flew out to make sure the human ships wouldn't come back. On the way, they had a DrakeMoot concerning Norton and his smoke rings.

Norton lives in his cavern by the sea now. The older dragons helped fix it into a proper dragon cave, with a smokehole to keep the air from getting too heavy to breath, and barriers to keep the wind from whistling in. Norton's job is to look out over the sea and watch for the ships to come back.

Sometimes Lea comes by, and Noton pretends to be a boulder until she goes away. And Norton is just fine with that.

This is my entry for Week One of LJ Idol. The topic is Here There Be Dragons. I originally wrote this story as a part of a series of dragon stories for my kids when they were small. When they heard the topic for this week, they suggested I dust Norton off and bring him out for the competition. I hope you enjoyed reading about him!
deza: (Nanowrimo)
There's a contest out you need to know about.

It starts with a picture. I would show it to you, but man, I just can't bear to put people through looking at it unnecessarily. Not that it's not well-done, because Jeff Zugale is an awesome artist. It's just... well... it's Wil Wheaton, clad in the infamous clown sweater, riding a unicorn pegasus kitten, about to skewer axe-weilding John ScalziOrc on a spear. Really. Would I shit you about something of that magnitude?

Here, look at it on Scalzi's blog, if you don't believe me.. This link also gives you ALL the details on the contest.

Now that a portion of your sanity has been irrevecobly ripped away, you should know about the contest. It's pretty simple: 400 - 2000 words describing the picture, emailed (in the body, no attachments) to by 11:59pm Eastern, June 30, 2010. One per person. The winning entry gets paid $.10/word AND gets published in a e-chapbook containing stories by Scalzi, Wheaton, Catherynne Valente and Patrick Rothfuss put out by Subterranean Press. Proceeds from sales of the chapbook benefit the Lupus Alliance of America.

Sounds worth it to me. As soon as my eyes stop bleeding, I'll get right to work on that.
deza: (Strip)
[ profile] mydeepbluesea was kind enough to review Strip for me! You can read what she has to say here or on here. Thank you, Jen!

I've also been reviewed and intermewed at Catgirl Island! Read the entire issue of the October Media Mewsings; I'm about 3/4 of the way through the article. Thank you, Mike and Catgirls!
deza: (Default)
I've had a few questions about the girl in the cover art. No, she's not my main character, Lissa. Lissa doesn't have a tattoo at the start of the novel, and she spends a decent amount of effort trying to avoid getting one.

Don't you just love plot devices?

So, here is the first scene where you really see Rainne, the lovely lady pictured on the cover.

Rainne was next, her walnut hair catching highlights from the stage lighting as she strutted down the walkway of the stage. Her blue sequined thong set sparkled in the flashing light; drawing out the bronze in her tanned, oiled skin and making her eye tattoo seem to wink as she walked. She carried a shot glass filled with a drink that glowed equally blue under the blacklights. "Drink up!" she said cheerfully as she placed the glass to Lissa’s lips. Lissa swallowed the shot quickly, shuddering a bit as she felt the bitter alcohol hit her system, wondering what the hell would happen next. Rainne pressed her body against Lissa, cupping Lissa’s face in her hands, kissing her deeply to the cheers of the watching men.

The cover for my first novel

deza: (dundunDUN!!!)
New Concepts Publishing just posted the cover art for Strip! Cover artist Eliza Black did a fantastic job.
*happy dances like a madwoman*

The cover for my first novel

*dies from the happiness*
*is ded*
deza: (fandom book)
My story is finally listed on New Concepts Publishing's Sneak Peek page!!!!!!!!

It's about 3/4 down the page, and no cover art yet, but the title is up there! One step closer to a publication date. :)

*happy boogie*

Further updates as warranted.
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