Archive for August, 2013

Making something old new or whoa..I still have that!

File cleaning can bring out some major gems but more often than not we find things we forgot about.  Stories that we started years ago and then got to busy to finish.  As i said in another blog I have so very many tales that I have started that need to be finished.  In this case it is an old and odd tale.  I am pretty sure this was inspired by hearing one too many preachers accusing someone of something.  I have never been one to be tolerant of those in power accusing children of something.  Never mind what i think of prejudice based on race, religion or sex.  I write a lot of tales that in their roots have something to do with hearing too many attacked for what is supposed to be a legally given right to freedom.  Sad to say I can see something like this happening in the near future all over the world.

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To save the child

Chapter One: Found and Lost

Fleeing the mob I ran and ran. I had no notion of where I went as long as it was away from the fire and the stench of burning flesh. Sobbing as I tried to catch my breath, I stopped and listened. The sounds of the mob were far behind me. I looked around and found I had run deep into the woods bordering the town of Wilkeshollow. These woods were supposed to be haunted. That much I had heard from the villagers at the inn. Tilgan and I had just finished loading up our animals when that poor child came running out to us.

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What caused her family to call her witch I will never know. She fled them and ran through the village toward the only two strangers left there at this season. Late into autumn, just before the first snows should fall. She was a tiny thing. All long brown hair and huge blue eyes. She could not have been more than ten. They came on with their torches and their knives intent on her blood.

Well, Tilgen and I could never allow a little one to be hurt and we stepped in front of the mob. I could still see Tilgen, standing tall and strong in the long rays of the dying day.

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“What do you folks think your doing?” He asked gently in that big booming voice of his.

“The little one there behind you is a witch and there’s only one thing you do with witches!” Cried the leader of the mob. I remembered after a moment that the man was the child’s father.

“What do you mean a witch? She’s no more than a child. What could she have done to you to be called such?” I replied. There was something going on that I knew would not be good.

“She has caused miscarriages and stillbirths!” Cried out a woman in the crowd. She was a filthy thing. Hair in tangles and unwashed for the gods knew how long.

“She made my cow’s milk dry up!” This from a stingy looking man.

 

“She cursed my sheep. My ewe gave birth to a two headed lamb.”

 

All the complaints I had heard over and over in the low lands. Somehow the men and women who used to look to witches for healing and blessing suddenly believed those same earth priests who blessed them a short time ago where now cursing them. They thought this child to be doing this.

“But isn’t this one of your own children?” Tilgen asked the girl’s father directly.

“That beast is not my child. When the witch traveled through here six months ago she must have spirited my sweet child away and left that behind.” He took a step toward the child but Tilgen blocked his forward movement with his massive body.

“Do you folks believe all that gibberish out there about witches stealing little ones and replacing them with their own brats. Why any self respecting witch would never give up a child.” I stopped trying to talk to the girl’s father and turned to the crowd. There had to be a way to defuse this situation. This child was not old enough to know how to curse anything. I tried appealing to their intelligence. “Besides you should know that witches are healer’s and midwives. They never hurt anyone and take care of the wilds and wild things.”

“What do you know about witches?” Asked the girl’s father in a suspicious voice.

“Yah, they’re evil and they steal little ones to sacrifice to their evil Goddess!” Cried someone from the back of the mob.

I looked over to Tilgan. He nodded. We were in trouble now. We had not realized yesterday when we had stopped at the inn in this sleepy little mountain town that they were of the new faith. The last report we had from the outriders was that the mountains were still of the “old” faith, believing in the Lord and Lady. The hateful “new” faith that had spread to cover the entire of the valley cities and towns, pushing out their harvest Goddess and the lord of the Hunt wasn’t supposed to have made it this far into the highlands. The worship of the one sexless god changed the good people I had known, people before who had been kind and of good cheer, healthy and strong. This new faith did not teach people to care for themselves, in fact it taught that to bathe regularly was to be sinful and prideful. The people in the valleys I had visited had become dirty and stingy, suspicious and cruel but as far as I knew before it had not reached up into the mist-covered mountains. Now it seem we had run into a pocket of the new faith. This was too far into the mountains for my liking, too close to home and the secret valley pocket of the healing center.

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Yes this is still a very rough draft, written in the late 80s in fact.  My style has developed quite a bit since then but I can see myself finishing this tale with just a bit of tweaking to the original bits here.  There are actually two more chapters of this story on my hard drive.  Who knows when i will get to it but I plan on it.

 

New releases, new work and a drabble or two

Well August is almost over and I have decided I waited long enough to release these three stories.

Since August ends on Monday and this weekend is a holiday I decided I would release the three stories I had been holding onto.   Three different tales from three different series

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ETCI3OK Not Just Another Morning of Business, Guardians of the Gate City side story 1:  Sheldon is one of Harry’s friends, a dragon who deals in information.  He is not having a good morning.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ETP6812 Now and Forever (Mythos of Love, #3): Sometimes the pledge you make to your Lord is not what you expected

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ETCIRKU The Pest House, Death Walks Through 9: Pest houses are where they took those very contagious to get better or die but not everyone taken there were sick.

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Now I have been a good hard working writer too.  Here is a little bit of Rebirth

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He awoke to that glow.  Standing in the dark, it took him a long seemingly endles time to be able to focus.  The first thing that he saw was a pair of golden eyes.   As Malcom opened his mouth he heard the rustle of feathers.  “You you remember brother?”

The voice was rich, odd and deep yet familiar.  “Remember?”  Malcolm asked.

A tale bronze haired man stepped forward, dressed in leathers of  shade darker than his hair.  Though Malcolm blinked slowly the eyes before him looked just like the eagle from before.  He spread his hands and the rustle of feathers grew louder.  A dim light came from around his form and as Malcolm watched a pair of bronze wings filled the space around the almost stronger.

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Yes there is a lot more but well I have to type it up!

And finally I said I would toss in another drabble…so why not?

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Sitting and waiting

by Lisa Williamson

The bench sits just back from the path.  Here I can look over the cliffs and see the land so far away.  The rocks to my left and the scrub brush to my right.  It is odd how different it is.  The bench used to be surrounded by trees and tall grasses, flowers that bloomed in high summer but then man came along, plowed them down.  Why they did it I did not ask.  I just stayed in my place and watched.  They Left nothing here but the light covering of snow that fell while I was sitting and waiting.

 

Since I can’t do longer this weekend…more drabbles

Yup I am tossing out what I wrote yesterday completely and starting over.  So here are more of my drabbles…enjoy

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What is that I see?

by Lisa Williamson

Is that the Sun?  Has it finally returned to my life, my world?  For so long I have walked toward the darkened sky, hiding beneath this umbrella, avoiding the rain.  The grey has taken over all that I see and closed the hearts and minds all around.  But the darkness is lifting I think, I hope.  The Sun rising in the east breaking through the mist or is it?  Is that the Sun or the Moon but should it matter?.  Sun or Moon, day or night I will trust that the truth is what I see.  Finally the mist dissolves.

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And a second one, hopefully less dark

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Temple in the sun

by Lisa Williamson

The cool water reflected the azure sky as I drifted relaxed and calm.  The temple filled me with a sense of serenity that I could find no where else.  This place so far from my normal daily life of need and want filled me with peace.  No snow, no ice and no one yelling at me to get things done.

Wish that I could stay in this quiet place.  To lie in the sun and listen to the water lap against the stone would be heaven.  But it is just a dream for palm trees do not grown on ice.

Starting up a new kind of vampire tale, or am I?

Yup this little tale could very well have a vampire in it, of a type.  I thought it would be fun to write a story about a vampire (of an unknown type) and a vampire hunter.  There are so many types, not just those blood drinkers that everyone loves or hates.  So why not right?  Here is a little tiny bit of what I have done so far.

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Possibilities

A Beyond Realities short story

by Lisa Williamson

 

He walked into the bar and looked about.  The room was much like many he had been in, small, dark and smoky.  This late there weren’t too many filling the tables and booths and he almost stepped back out to try a better spot but he spotted a woman in the shadows at the back of the bar.

 

A slow smile slid over a face that many would call handsome.  Strong cheekbones covered with bronzed skin under eyes that seemed to hold secrets with a simple glance.  He ran a hand through the raven locks to both settle them and to emphasize the muscles in his arm.  He was a fine specimen of a man, or so he appeared.

 

He nodded to the barkeep, lifting two fingers and gesturing toward the table in the back.  “Two of whatever she is drinking, Bobby.”

 

The barkeep snorted and shook his head.  “I wouldn’t if I were you Jimmy.  Bad juju sitting there.”  The beads at the ends of his braids clacked softly.

 

“Bad juji?”  Jimmy rolled his eyes and smiled.  “Well I doubt she has even seen anything like me my friend.”

 

Bobby poured him two fingers of Jamison’s into two glasses and passed them over.  “Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.”  He went back to his magazine, ignoring the curious look that was tossed his way.

 

Jimmy shook his head, sighed and then pasted on his patented come hither smile and headed toward the woman in the back.  He had no idea what Bobby was talking about but more than just his curiosity drew him to the woman.

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Not a lot but heck I just started.  We shall see.  Who is the vampire and who is the hunter?

Since humidity hurts…some drabbles

Normally I would be doing a lot more but the humidity is making my joints scream.  So here are some drabbles i have in my files.  Enjoy!

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Tree of little life

by Lisa Williamson

Life makes a way not matter the conditions.  The water lapping gently against the rock teases the roots of my being.  I reach to the sky with arms so small yet so strong.  Within me there is strength and vibrancy that you can see and feel if you take a moment of time.  Green is my blood and brown is my bone, I am life and wonder and all that surrounds your world.  Come drift upon the waters and brush against my being, today we are brothers in the soul of imagination.  Can you find in yourself a new dream?

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And one more for you wonderful readers

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Eating in the Sun

by Lisa Williamson

Here I sit in the green, hungry.  The dandelion tastes so sweet and the sun is so bright.  I have but moments to chew before the children see me.  Can I finish my treat before I get chased around the hill?  I hope I do.

Why do they chase me to and fro?  Every day I have to run.  From man and boy, woman and girl.  From dog and cat and even the hawk above.  I run and run and hide. slipping down my rabbit hole. Why can’t they leave me be and let me just nibble on this dandelion?

A new week and how about a couple of drabbles?

Yup another Monday is before us.  I have so much to do.  Covers to make, notes to type up, a forward and blurb to write, ideas to perk for three anthologies and of course more writing.  It is what I do right?  So how about something short and fun today?  Well if not funny they  are quick right?

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The Hard Working Hamster

by Lisa Williamson

 Ninety Nine, one hundred.  There I told her I could do it.  No one thinks that hamsters have muscles but we do.  We work out hard to keep our sleek cuteness.  Now those gerbils let me tell you they just run around in the balls and hide stuff.  Really how good is that?  I have the softer fur and the brighter eyes.  So you tell me this, why was I the last one chosen?  Aren’t I good enough?  I eat right and I do my exercises, even take the cuteness classes…so why or why did Charlie the gerbil win huh?

***Yeah it is silly of course but I do write silly from time to time.  And now another one!

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The Porch

by Lisa Williamson

 The sun is warm and the tea is cold.  I sit in my chair watching the world go by.  The soft breezes rustle the leaves making the shadows dance across the porch.  Summer slides up slowly to melt the cold from my bones and remind me that life is worth living.  Time seems to slow as the flowers bloom and the birds sing. 

 The winter has been too cruel, taking with it those closest to me, leaving me alone in the dark.  Now that the sun has returned I can sit and watch the world return to hope.

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I have been organizing my images and drabbles and I think i may have lost a few…I have more images than drabbles!

Strong Female Characters and the people who hate the term

Now normally I post up bits of my writing or book covers on this blog and leave it at that but today I sat down and read another bloggers well written commentary on the strong female character monicker.  While that blogger had an issue with it, had an issue of how these characters are written on comic book movies and how they are portrayed I don’t.  Let me explain.

While in movies like The Secret of Bees or the Color Purple, On Golden Pond and others you have strong women who make the world know what they think you don’t see it in genre fiction so much.  Genre fiction, you know that is the stuff I write.  Science Fiction, Fantasy, horror, comic books, etc have for a long time been written mostly by men and stared mostly men.  Yes we have broken into the fields, written our tales of women and girls who can pack a wallop like the boys and do dumb shit just like them.

Now see when women are written by men they will put in those stories things they want to see the woman do.  One of the things this writer went on about was how in Captain America the female lead picked up a gun and shot at Cap in a fit of peak or jealousy.  Now while the writer thought it was wrong I see it a different way.  Yes it was a bit childish but she knew that Cap’s reflexes were just that good.  He had the shield right there in front of him and she trusted that the science behind the world’s hardest metal would work just fine.  So while it was a bit shrewish, it made sense.

In a movie genre that has grown dramatically in attention but not so much in the story depth this made sense.  If this had been a cop drama or a spy film they would have focused much more on how catty she was being.  She went on to comment how on the movie posters they tend to put the female characters in the background.  Thing is in the posters she mentions the females are not the leads.  I, as a fan of this genre, expect to see the secondary characters in a lesser place on posters.  Really makes sense to me.

Now yes i would adore to see complex female characters in genre films.  Complaining that the modern princess movies have just made it so all princesses need to kick ass is degrading the steps they have done in story telling.  Mulan is obviously a princess movie and yes she can kick butt but she learned just like the men did in that film.  Tiana in Princess and the frog was strong of personality and was not saved by the prince.  She saved them both with her courage and grew enough to teach both the playboy prince and herself life lessons.

I SFC or strong female character does not have to be everything to be a good character.  A lot of feminists want to see what would truly be a goddess on film.  Two hours can not give you enough room to have a ton of growth and action in your characters.  If you are watching an action film there will be more action than character growth.  If you are watching science fiction you can’t expect your female lead to be introspective and kick ass with the hero.  There are lots of complex characterization on film now and they are slowly moving into the films we all adore.

I write characters who kick butt and get also get their butt kicked.  I write short and tight stories but does that mean my characters are not strong?  If the heroine in the tale is saved by the hero is she not a true representation of a modern woman?  I think not.  Because no matter how long your story, your movie or even your tv show you can not show every facet of the character.

Female characters have grown in number and in personality over the past century of story telling.  As this blogger mentioned Snow white was the classic scared and in need of rescue princess way back when.  When you watch Brave and see a strong, opinionated young princess who is head strong and as she learns, wrong, you watch her grow and learn about herself and her mother as the movie goes on.  No prince comes to save them both, it is the strength of their bond and their own selves that save them.

Thirty years ago I was stopped in the hall at Boscon, the Boston science fiction convention by a tv reporter.  Now she stopped me I am sure because I was dressed up in a velvet tunic, spandex leggings (never again) and lots of silver.  She had a few questions about women and fandom.  Now this was back around 1983.  The strongest female characters were yet to exist.  We had Charlie’s Angels running around in stilettos and bikinis and Angie Dickenson.  If you watched Science fiction on tv then you had The spandex dressed Erin Grey in Buck Rogers and well that was about it.  Princess Leia filled our movie screens and I especially loved seeing her give guff to Luke and Han.

But the real change had started.  In fiction we had strong females showing up.  Whole books and series of them.  A lot of you readers probably have not read Marion Zimmer Bradley and may not know just what she did for the genre and female characters in general.

While Darkover is thought of as a fantasy series by most it is really something called science fantasy.  The stories deal with telepaths and those who control the flow of energies with the power of their minds.  The stories mostly sit in what would be considered a dark age but there are plenty of them with Terrans interacting with their long lost cousins.  The important thing about these stories is that they had many female characters who went out and did things on their own.  They raised their children, fought to defend themselves, were guides and business women all in a society that looked down on women in ways that would make most of us outraged.  These stories, these wonderful books came out in the 60s and 70s and I read them like they were crack.  Going from these to Anne McCaffrey’s dragon riders with strong, sneaky and powerful Lessa and dignified and tragic Moreta to Menolly the girl who refused to stop her music because she was told a girl can’t be a harper.  These books have strong females who are complex.

I moved on to Jo Clayton who proved that women can carry a science fiction book all on their own.  From Aleytys starting as a simple country girl and over the course of nine books growing in complexity to a powerful woman who understood who she was and just what her place in the universe is to Shadith, once a ghost of energy inside the diadem from the Aleytys stories.  Shadith the thief, the bard and the child woman who is wiser than anyone would ever give her credit for.  The female characters written in these books are as strong or stronger in personality than most of the males written over the years.

Yes the title Strong Female Character can be taken wrong but really if you paid attention to the past 50 years of fiction, movies and tv you will see that by strong they aren’t referring to her ability to kick someone’s ass but to stand up and make her views know and to make an impact.  They might still be secondary characters in movies but they will come into their own in their own time.    Here is hoping that I can write women as powerful as those i grew up reading and if by some fluke of wonder my books become movies then i hope my daughters and granddaughters and their friends can smile and say, Hey I knew that writer and she gave me someone I could look up to.