Chapters Two and Three of Falling Adalta Vol III

Here are the next chapters of FALLING. Chapter Two is the one formerly known as Chapter One, but changed a bit, because I realized it was in the wrong place. So I posted both chapters to make up for getting in a hurry. Blame it on my sister Alice. She made me go back and do some plotting, which I hate, but, OK, she was right. This time. Maybe the only time.

These chapters are works in progress, so if you see something you don’t like, something that doesn’t make sense, God forbid, something misspelled, grammar mistakes, or—Maybe even something you really like, please make a comment in the box below. I promise to pay attention. It takes a village to write a book. Don’t leave me out there, all alone, hanging in the wind when I’ve said their instead of they’re or there. Or have a character sitting in one paragraph and standing in the next, but he never stood up. Or pulling out a sword she wasn’t wearing. It happens, but I don’t write about magically appearing swords.

Thanks for reading, and sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already. You’ll be lucky, you’re probably happy to know, to get one a month. But I have a couple of things coming up I’d like to let you know about. (Hint—audiobook)

Enjoy reading:

Chapter Two

Cedar Evan’s ears popped. The quarantine pod shuddered. The watering can fell off the bench. She lost her balance and smacked her hip on a seedling table. The light over the containment hatch blinked red—on-off on-off on-off––again. Shit.

Cedar moved to the control panel. Oxygen levels were down but climbing. Pressure was down, but climbing. Her stomach was down but climbing. And climbing. Climbing a rope in her throat on its way to panic.

Yet another glitch. One or two or more––they increased every week now on Alal Trade Consortium’s five-hundred-year-old-and-then-some spaceship.

The light switched to steady green. Her stomach slid back down the rope, and the sigh she didn’t know she was holding burst like juice from an over-ripe orange.

Read More

Falling Chapter One Version 1.2

Falling Chapter One Version 1.2

I wish writing a book was maybe a little more straight forward. I seem to do a lot of back and forthing, and that’s what happened to my beginning Chapter. The major struggle in this third and final book is between Daryl and his brother Readen, so the book has to start with Daryl. So I scrambled the fist two chapters and finally ended up here. I’ll post Chapter Two in a couple of weeks.

I hope you enjoy this. It’s still a work in progress, so comments and corrections are more than welcome.

AND—Ta Da—Click read more to see the cover for Book 3 by Kurt Nilson.—and the rest of the chapter.

Chapter One 

Fifteen riders on magnificent hawk-headed flying horses circled the landing field outside the small town of Flat Rock. Enormous monstrous dog-like creatures, half metal-half flesh, with scales of armor, swarmed over the walls into the village. Their stubby metallic wings beat with a ringing Daryl Me’Vere, astride his Karda, could hear from high in the air. A sound he hated. He forced down the pressure building from his chest into his throat––hatred, anger, fear for his riders and for his people below.

At his signal, Karda and riders swooped across the field, snatching unwary monsters, the urbat, in their wicked talons, carrying them high above and dropping them to their deaths in the middle of the throng attacking the gates. Other riders aimed arrows at the urbat tearing through the streets after townspeople, most of whom fought with swords, spears, axes––whatever was to hand and sharp.

Daryl and Abala dropped down to about twelve meters, twice as high as the urbat could reach with their stubby wings and massive bodies. They crossed the walls, circling the village. Screams and cries and urbat snarls and howls rose, and he heard the clang of swords and hoes and scythes against the urbat armor. The savage brutes swarmed through the small town, and Daryl shoved down his anger. He needed to fight urbat, not his emotions.

Below him, a terrified unarmed villager stumbled to his knees, an urbat half flying, half falling directly at him. A second villager ran to shove his short-bladed spear overhead at its belly and impaled the creature. The impact knocked him down, but he scrambled to his feet, put his foot against the urbat, pulled his weapon free and slashed it across the throat. Thick, yellow ichor ran in runnels between the cobblestones.

Daryl flew on, drew on his talent and fire bolts, long, narrow bursts of flame from his spread fingers, incinerated every urbat he caught in the open, careful of the villagers and the buildings. He fired and fired until Abala peeled away to beat his way up into the air and beyond the walls. 

~What are you doing, Abala? They’re still fighting.~ He spoke telepathically.

~And you have depleted your talent. You are so tired I can feel you sway in the saddle. We have other work to do. Another kind of monster to find.~

Daryl scrubbed his hands through his hair, wishing Abala didn’t know him so well. When frustration tried to clamp down on his chest again, he shoved it away to take long, deep breaths, pulling strength from the air, the clouds, the sky. Restoring his power through elemental Air was difficult--impossible for most--but Daryl was a formidable Talent and there wasn’t time to land to draw power from deep in Adalta.

Read More

Coffee and Books and Poetry

Last week my daughter, Jeri Fleming, gave a talk to the Locust Grove Chamber of Commerce about their problems with the creek that goes all the way through town. That’s where I lived before I ran away from home, about five miles outside town, and raised horses, cows, and kids. So I went with her. 

image.png

To Wonder City Coffee. What an amazing place. I think it’s my favorite coffee shop ever. It’s not just a place for coffee and tea, but a meeting place for the community, a place to sit and read, a place to sit and gossip and tell stories.

foosball table.jpg
coffee bar.jpg

Every table had some kind of game—chess, checkers, dominos and more, like a copy of the latest town newspaper. (This one had a feature about Jeri. She’s Assistant Director and Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Oklahoma Water Survey.) There’s a foosball table for kids of all ages. Sometimes they have tournaments.

You can see by the pictures the decor is practical nostalgia. The owner, Kelly Perkins Palmer, had a shop that sold old things, and the furnishings and

decorations came from there when her shop closed. 1950’s Formica tables, 1940’s and 60’s wood tables, old cabinets, an antique stove. A sofa and comfy chairs right in the front window where you can watch your friends and neighbors go by on the street—“Look who has a new truck!”—all kinds of wonderful old things like cabinets and pictures and wall decorations. 

And best of all—a back room full of books to sit and read in comfortable sofas and chairs under a giant “crystal” chandelier. (I left my two books there if you want to go, have a cappuccino, and read.)

stove in corner, puzzle tabl.jpg
book room.JPG

There were people of all ages there—teenagers playing foosball, the mayor, the Chamber members, little kids. And yet there was room for people who just wanted to come in for a think and a quiet pick-me-up of coffee or tea—iced or hot. And I saw a lot of I-Must-Resist drinks piled high with whipped cream go by. I also saw people I hadn’t seen in years. They didn’t look a day older, but then, neither do I, right?

I’m happy with my life now—I left Locust Grove a number of years ago—and I have grandkids who live there so I still visit. There is a part of me that wants to be able to go in to Wonder City Coffee (and books) every day to sit by myself and write or to talk to old friends and neighbors. The manager, Kelly’s sister Shaun Perkins, makes a great cappuccino.

Shaun is also grant coordinator of the Locust Grove Arts Alliance and director of the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry (ROMP) with a grant from the National Foundation for the Arts. That is how I got a free copy of Joy Harjo’s poetry book, How We Became Human, which I am enjoying. Shaun is a poet, free-lance writer, barista, and a Teaching Artist with the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Next to the poetry museum is a small AirBnB “Poets Retreat” house, with a replica of Emily Dickenson’s bedroom which Kelly designed. A place to reflect and relax and write. 

The LG Arts Alliance has a Big Read grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. During National Poetry Month (April) they will focus on Joy’s book, and she will be in Locust Grove on April 26 and 27. She’s not only a poet, but a musician, a professor, and a performer. The culmination of her visit will be a performance in the LG Pirate Arena.

For such a small town nestled in the eastern Oklahoma foothills of the Ozarks, Locust Grove has a long and interesting history of artists and writers. 

Check out the Poetry Museum and the writer’s retreat at ROMPoetry.com 

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Joy Harjo’s book, How We Became Human, so far (I’m still reading):

I take myself back, fear.
You are not my shadow any longer.
I won’t hold you in my hands.
You can’t live in my eyes, my ears, my voice,
my belly, or in my heart my heart
my heart my heart.

But come here, fear
I am alive and you are so afraid
of dying.

FALLING, ADALTA VOL III, CHAPTER ONE

Now that Hunter, Adalta II is alive and on Amazon, I finally have time to go back to work on Falling, book three. I started by going back through what I had written. It is nice when you actually like what you’ve done. 

As I promised, here is the first chapter of Falling. Please keep in mind this is a work in progress, and if you find a typo or spelling mistake, or I’ve written something like—Daryl is standing at the table, then all of a sudden he gets up—oops, he was already standing, or Cedar is drinking a glass of wine, but now she has a coffee cup in her hand—please make a comment so I can fix it. Right now I’m concentrating on getting the story down on “paper” and ready to publish next June.

I know that seems like a long time, and I wish I could write faster. My goal is to finish the draft in January, because, honestly, what really takes time and is sooo frustrating is the work that has to be done to get it edited, proofed, and published. The writing is the fun part. 

In the meantime, here is Chapter One. I hope you like it. I’d love to hear your comments.

CHAPTER ONE

Cedar Evan’s ears popped. The quarantine pod shuddered. The watering can fell off the bench. She lost her balance and smacked into a seedling table. The light over the containment hatch blinked red—on-off on-off on-off––again. Shit.

Cedar moved to the control panel. Oxygen levels were down but climbing. Pressure was down, but climbing. Her stomach was down but climbing. And climbing. Climbing a rope in her throat on its way to panic.

Yet another glitch. One or two or more––they increased every week now on Alal Trade Consortium’s five-hundred-year-old spaceship.

The light switched to steady green. Her stomach slid back down the rope, and the sigh she didn’t know she was holding burst like juice from an over-ripe orange.

Read More

Chapter One of Hunter, Adalta Vol. II

Hunter will be published next week for Advanced Review. If you'd like a copy, send me your physical address and I'll mail you one as soon as I get the copies. I'm working on Falling, Adalta Vol. III to publish next year. 

Here is the first chapter of Hunter, and in two weeks I'll post the first chapter of Falling, or rather, the working copy of the first chapter. 

In the meantime, while you'r waiting for your copy, Karda is available on B&N and Amazon for print, and Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Ibooks and Google Play for ebooks. Fun reading for these dogs days of summer before the world comes back from vacation in September.

Chapter One. 

Tessa Me'Cowyn paced from her window to her bed to the door. She pressed her ear to the varnished oak. She could hear clashes of metal on metal, shouts, screams, running feet echoing up to the corridor, growing closer, louder, ever more threatening.

Or was this finally rescue?

After weeks as a hostage in Readen’s keep, the elegance of the furnishings, the thick rug, the private bathing room didn't make Tessa feel any less trapped.

Read More

The Long Lazy Summer That Isn't

My copies of Karda Adalta Vol I came for me to send to advance readers. And my grandsons came, to bicker. to eat endlessly, to strew very large shoes in my path, and to watch videos on their phones. 

IMG_20180707_162201.jpg

Actually, they’ve had a great time. Visits with other cousins, swimming, movies, a rafting trip with my daughter, Jeri, on the Illinois River on the edge of the Ozarks. Lots and lots of Coneys and pizza and hamburgers and fries and bickering. 

My car is pretty small—a convertible with a tiny back seat—and two of the boys are six feet and over and the other is not far behind. All of them have giant feet. If I live through this visit, next time I’m renting a real car so there will be room for their feet. They did enjoy the one day we could have the top down, hands in the air, yelling, laughing, except for the one who was embarrassed by his little brother and his older cousin. After that, they decided it was too hot.

So between driving the three of them around––everytime going through the “I call shotgun” “No, it’s my turn.” “No, I can’t fit back there” and so on and so on––trying to keep them fed, and attempting to convince them that chores were not cruel and unusual punishment, I worked.

I sent out my newsletter, worked on the list of people who wanted review copies––let me know if you want one. The edits to Hunter Adalta Vol II got done, and I rewrote the last three chapters. I managed to get Karda up on Amazon (that’s still not finished), got envelopes to mail the books––I didn’t get enough––addressed them, and as soon as my cards and things come from Vistaprint I can sign and mail them

IMG_20180707_162952.jpg

 I also went over edits to Chapter One of Falling, book three, and tried to work on Chapter Four. But I gave that up.

Before they came, I was reading Circe, the fantastic book by Madeline Miller, about the woman who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs when he was on his interminable way home to Penelope. Miller is a consummate wordsmith, no wonder the book hit #1 on the NYT bestseller list. If I could work words like she does—oh my, I wish I could. I’ll be glad when things get back to normal here, and I can get back to her book. Writers need to read writers, and she is one of the best.

But for now, Karda is available on Amazon, although there are still some issues to work out with them, and the official launch is not till July 28. 

IMG_20180707_162215.jpg

The writing life is exhausting. This is not a long, lazy, summer. But the boys got the GIANT BLACK WIDOW SPIDER out of the grill on the back porch, and I knocked off the GIANT WASP’S NEST which was empty and about an inch in diameter. Then they grilled hamburgers. It was quite the adventure.

Is it September yet?

Here’s Chapter 14 of Karda and a brief note about—well, stuff

This is the last chapter I will post. I am frantically working on getting the books up and running for publication next month.

It’s spring here, finally, and I’ve been working outside, planting all my pots with begonias, geraniums, petunias, sweet potato vine—did you know there are black sweet potato vines? 

My one small pot of herbs is doing great already. The sage plant is getting old and woody. The pot is slowly crumbling—I dare not move it. It's been in the same place on the porch there are violets growing out from under where it sits on the concrete. So next year I may have to plant a new sage. The chives, the thyme, the oregano I can repot, but the sage—not so much. Yesterday it was 95 degrees outside, and I had the top down on my car with the AC running. Today is cooler, but yes, summer heat approaches. We’ve had about three days of spring. It would be nice if summer could be cool, too. But—it’s Oklahoma. Probably not much chance of that. 

Enjoy this chapter and look for Karda and  Hunter—Vol II soon.

If you are not already signed up for my newsletters, please do so, because I want you to be the first to know when they are available. 

Here’s Chapter 14. Enjoy

Chapter 14

"Readen has assured me that there are no groups of marauders sheltering inside our borders." Roland looked to Readen. "Tell Altan what you found when you took the Mounted Patrol out there." He looked back at Altan. "He spent two tendays in the most deplorable conditions." His steward entered the room and stood behind him with a handful of papers. Roland flapped his hand at Readen in a come-on-tell-all motion and started going through the papers, carrying on a sotto-voce conversation with the steward.

Read More