Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Writing Workshop—Getting into Character

Character Building Exercise: A monologue of one of the main characters in my upcoming space opera, Where Pirates Go to Die.


Naria: Captain of the Tigerlily

The rumors are true. I have no man to complete me, nor a child to fulfill me. That is probably why I turned to pirating. If you believe that, I also have a moonshare to sell you. No one is going to tell me what kind of life a woman is supposed to lead. I bought the Tigerlily. I restored her and enhanced her. I also handpicked her crew—the best of the best at what they do.

You think I care what anyone thinks about how I live my life? I am the Captain of this ship. My ship, my rules. Don’t like them? There’s the airlock.

My ship is my pride and joy. Yes, it’s old, but she’s modified. What is so special about the Tigerlily? First, it has a hematite alloy bonded to the titanium hull. Gives her that pretty black sheen. Second, it can maneuver out of the Flyers’ laser snare. How? Like I’m going to tell you. Her secrets are my secrets. I’ll take them to my grave.

Why did I become a pirate? Well, it wasn’t because I woke up one day and realized how crappy my life was. I relish in the thrill of the heist. There is a certain satisfaction when your laser hits just the right spot to drop a man. Or woman. Though I do not rely solely on laser weaponry. I have a soft spot for the archaic weapons. Gripping the handle of a sharp piece of cold metal is an art form. When it rubs against warm flesh, veins shake nervously.

You don’t approve? My methods are very effective. Oh, you think I should have a civilized hobby. Perhaps gem setting? I do love the feel of jewels dripping from my fingertips. Maybe you meant something more mundane like robot coding. Where’s the fun in that? Besides, it doesn’t earn anyone an asteroid load of lons.

Lons rule the Galaxy. The more lons the better. Sure, a sextillion of zeros in your bank account won’t keep you warm in the vacuum of space, but it keeps the engines running.

I know that judgmental look. You want to judge me? You can do it with a laser thrust up your final frontier.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Peeking Through the Portal

The World In-between brought us from the modern mundane world through the portal to the magical Land of Sages. There, we discovered the quaint Sages’ Grove with the Empire Tree at its center. We journeyed to the magic hating walled city of Calledin. Then, we ventured into the dark Dragonlands.

Bow of the Moon showed us glimpses of the Elf stronghold, Irmingard with its moat full of magic and blinding white ramparts. We raced to colorful Fairyland, which straddles the border of the Land of Sages and the Dragonlands. Beyond both lands, we traversed the mysterious God Mountain. Finally, we traveled further than the known world and lived to tell the tale.

Secrets of the Sages will take us to the hot, barren grasslands of the Outlands where the Ghost Tribe finds you. We are summoned to the underground city of Grunnan—the last Dwarf state on either side of the portal.

From Secrets of the Sages:
Rounding a bend, they entered a large room full of multiple tracks. On the rough walls hung torches whose flickering light illuminated thick timber supports. They approached one of the half dozen mine carts.

As Colvin opened the cart door, Berty glimpsed at the hammer and pickaxe crossed in front of a keystone that was embossed on the metal. Inside were three benches. Two on either end, where occupants would face each other, and one in the middle on which a person could sit either way. The Dwarf had Edwin and Declan sit on the rear bench, while Berty sat on the middle bench. Closing the door, Colvin sat next to Berty.

With a push of a lever, the cart began to move. The last time Berty traveled in a mine cart, his advisor took him to the Empire Vaults.

Before leaving the large room, the tracks converged. They entered a tunnel, which held two tracks. The wooden supports and torches started to whiz by as the cart picked up speed. When the torches ended, cool air rustling through his hair told Berty that they moved much faster than when he visited the vault.

Every so often, he could feel the cart lean as it rounded bends. He was not sure how far they had been traveling, but his legs told him that he had been sitting in the cart for awhile. Eventually, his eyes detected light somewhere up ahead. The cramps in his legs relaxed hoping that they had reached their destination.

The cart slowed slightly. Torchlight illuminated levers between the tracks. Reaching, Colvin moved a couple. When the tunnel widened, the cart rode on the Dwarf’s chosen track. Their speed decreased further, making the rough rock walls less blurry.

The tunnel opened into a gigantic cave. Rushing water echoed in the cavern. The track wove through stalagmites spiking from the ground and columns formed by the meeting of stalactites and stalagmites. Berty’s eyes detected a soft light, but he could not find the source.

A forest of cave formations gave way to an imposing expansive clearing. In the distance, Berty spied an underground El Dorado. Rays of sunlight spilled into a crack in the earth above. Mesoamerican style pyramids glittered with a golden hue. Crossing the clearing quickly, the cart zipped towards the golden city.

Some tracks led to the golden steps that cascaded down the side of the first pyramid. Their track took them inside a golden tunnel that cut through the pyramid.

“Welcome to Grunnan,” said Colvin. Pulling a lever, they switched tracks. “This takes us straight to the Prince.”

“Is Grunnan made entirely of gold?” asked Declan.

The Dwarf smiled under his fiery beard. “All the stone is covered with thin sheets of a gold alloy. It is a secret blend of metals that helps keep our city safe.”

“Gold allows for magic to travel easily,” said Declan.

“When need be,” Colvin responded. “The gold also is easier on the eyes underground.”

The mine cart stopped inside a golden room. Dwarves wearing brownish-gold armor heavily guarded the room and its many exits.

Opening the door, Colvin jumped out. “Mind your head, Lieutenant. Dwarf construction does not take into account the height of Elves.”

Berty carefully exited the cart. While waiting for the others, he realized that his head was very close to the gold ceiling. Declan glanced upwards at the ceiling that was also only a few inches from the top of his head. Getting out of the cart, Edwin had to hunch to stand and walk.

All three of them ducked as they followed Colvin into a claustrophobia-inducing staircase. The golden tunnel that encased the stairs looked to go on forever.

To distract himself from feeling like the gold walls were going to close in on him, Berty said to Colvin, “This area is heavily guarded, but I did not see any guards as we approached the city.”

“The Royal Battalion protects only the Palace and the Royal Family,” Colvin said.

“Who protects Grunnan?” asked Berty.

“The city does not have an official guard. If need be, we Dwarves will head into battle. However, Grunnan is equipped to protect itself,” Colvin explained. “The Dwarves who built this place were masters of their trade. Any Dwarf who learns their secrets and knowledge are known as a Master tradesmen in his field.” He glanced at the three men following him. “Mind your heads,” he told them.

Bending to avoid hitting his head, Berty stepped out of the staircase. A grandiose room with plenty of room for their heads greeted them. Gold columns supported a gold vaulted ceiling. Shining shallow bowls holding fire dotted the golden floor. Members of the Royal Battalion stood guard throughout the room.

They approached many golden steps that led to a golden throne encrusted with large jewels.

“My Lord, welcome to the Royal Palace of Grunnan,” said Goscislaw’s low growl. The Dwarf Prince hurried down the many steps to greet his guests. “I am glad that you were able to come on such short notice. Please, come with me.”

Secrets of the Sages is the third book in the World In-between epic fantasy series. Look for it this year.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Poetry Wednesday 15 May 13

INTO ABYSS

At which point does low end,
Where does abyss begin?
How deep is the void in the fowl's eyes,
That prey on the darkness so quiet.
A winter season so withering, speechless its morning, fear in its quake.
I wonder is this the paradise Hell speaks of,
No heart for love, no mind for good.
Where selflessness is the charity, donation for disaster,
Every blood drop, from the tip of the knife is hate's revenge on love.
Schizophrenic peace, must be wars sanity,
Deprived soul, a wind in a vessel quilt together.
The scream to be let go, but trapped till death decays the bond that holds.
Pleasure the inner covet, the flesh weak, and quick to envy.
So it embarks on a journey into ego,
Unknowingly it will reach low.
Unsatisfied by the taste, goes on to find the ingredient to enhance the aromatic artefact.
Only to find the journey is to a place at the end of low,
And the beginning of abyss where this lonely fortress holds.


By David Worlanyo


Find David on Facebook

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Poetry Wednesday 8 May 13

Art of Noise

If a symphony were a collection of memories,
thoughts would be instruments, yet I wonder
how the songs they played might describe the
human temperament.

Could percussions articulate one’s discussions?
Or their tempo explain why through
life we are constantly rushing?
Would violins praise or hate? They may
only be relevant to help foresee one’s fate.

When choosing to compete, will trombones’
allure allow the rest of the song to sing?
While watching clarinets show movement,
I saw an oboe, harp, and flute grow wings.

Whereas trumpets are knights
anointed with the strength to fight,
saxophones are king of the stage,
and thy queen is shown through
the beauty of its melody.

Yet wisdom is shown through
a director’s willingness to follow,
for by loving the art of noise, he shall lead.
Gods Love by Calvert Tynes
Full book cover for God's Love by Calvert Tynes

—Calvert Tynes


Calvert Tynes is the author of God's Love. Find Calvert on Facebook.