For the past several weeks I have been editing both Karda and Hunter, books one and two of the Adalta Series. I don’t plot before I start writing, but in this editing process, I’ve realized the problems that causes me. Extraneous plot elements that don’t go anywhere—just kind of leave annoying hang-in-the-air spots—so my story starts looking a little like my car did when I parked it under a tree full of birds. Well, maybe not that bad. But when I have to figure out what to do with them —those stray ideas, it seems like it is.Read More
~His name is Baltu,~ said Sidhari. Her head hung over Marta's as she and Altan groomed the little male. Marta handed Altan a soft cloth and the green bottle of the oil she used on wing feathers. She scratched Baltu's head to keep him calm. Altan worked, crooning softly to the little Karda. They ran loose in the mews when they weren't being fed or groomed. Baltu followed Altan everywhere he went, his cries piteous and his immature wings beating futilely whenever Altan flew off on Kibrath. Despite herself, she had to admit Altan was good at soothing the skittish baby.
Marta scratched the downy feathers under the fledgling's neck, irritated that Altan was so close to them. He was there with her every moment he could spare. She couldn't complain that he was interfering. He knew what he was doing. It was just so--irritating. Her fingers tangled with Altan's as they both reached to scratch the same soft spot under Baltu's beak.Read More
I’m a big fan of fantasy and sci/fi. Romance, too, because there is a big part of me that is still sixteen and dreaming of the perfect love. A few years ago, I finished a fantasy series, put the paper back down on a towering stack of books (pre-Kindle days), and thought, "I’m going to run out of books to read." And panicked.Read More
It was cold, drizzly, and generally miserable outside, but our annual Easter family gathering was a huge success anyway. There were 50 of us—the biggest Easter ever—at Allen and Lorie’s. How did our Easter grow to 50 people? What happened to population control? Lorie had put us on notice, sending a message to bring coats and remember they had twenty acres for us to roam.
I think only my sister (and fellow writer) Alice’s family came from out of town. Brother Allen (the dog trainer extraordinaire), or actually his wife, Lorie and her father, Larry (our sculptor extraordinaire) set up heaters and tables in the garage, so Lorie didn’t have to put her furniture in storage to accommodate all of us.Read More
Six Karda met them when they were still miles from Toldar Prime. They settled into a V formation around the four weary travelers to ease their flight. When they landed, the mews was a madhouse of Mi'hiru, Karda, as well as Guardian Stefan, Elena, and others from the Guild House and the Keep. Marta was relieved to get away when things settled enough to leave the babies under the care of a tired Eanna who assured her they would be fine for the night. The shutters on her empathic shield were flapping open, and she was getting bombarded.
She pulled off her soft riding boots and found a pair of slippers on one of the shelves in the entryway to the long central hall of the red stone building. She followed Mother Solaira across the flagstones through an archway to the right into the dining room filled with heavy, worn, polished benches, chairs, and wooden tables with bright pottery vases of fresh flowers. They walked through into the big kitchen. A cheerful fire of magma stones, the strange fuel Marta hadn't figured out, glowed in the big metal cooking stove. The smell of fresh baked bread poured out of the hot adobe wall oven to fill the kitchen. Several large loaves cooled at one end of the big worn central table. Piles of papers littered the other.Read More
Sometimes life interferes, so I’m late with this chapter, but I’ll post Chapters Nine and Ten to make up for it. Karda is now at the proof reader’s, and Hunter: Adalta Vol. II (draft # umpteen) is finished!!!!! (I know I’ve said that before, but this time it really is.) Now comes the final run through before it’s ready to proof.
Falling, the third and final book in the Adalta series has begun, and I’m excited about it.
I actually did some plotting—at my sister Alice’s insistence and with her help, so maybe this one will be smoother sailing. Plotting is not my strong suit. I have some great ideas about the female protagonist, with the help of my long-suffering personal trainer/patient listener, whose questions opened up a whole new aspect of her character. Her name is Cedar, and she has a bionic foot.
How is that going to work on a tech-resistant planet? It won’t, so I’m looking for someone who has a boot that will hold my foot immobile. I need to know how it feels to have a virtual block for a foot. Have I given too much away? She’s obviously not going to be a sword-wielding badass female. Well, badass, but a different kind of badassery.
So here are the next two chapters of Karda. Enjoy, and comment if you will. Feedback helps and makes the next book better.
Marta looked at the tall rock tower at the head of the valley she and Altan flew toward. The steep, craggy sides glowed pink in the soft light of early evening. Was that what he climbed down with the babies? Twice? Then flew all day and into the night—a distance that it had taken them nearly two days to travel back? She was impressed. Eanna and Darta, the two unpartnered Karda who volunteered to carry the babies, circled up above the two of them, waiting their turn to land. Kibrath and Altan landed first, cantering toward the nest.
Marta and Sidhari followed. She looked across the clearing where the two small fledglings peered over the rough nest of sticks Altan built beside a small crude building in the shelter of low trees. She dismounted and headed toward the babies’ nest, so eager to see them she didn’t unsaddle her Karda. The babies' shrill cries echoed through the valley.
"Move, Mi'hiru. They're probably more than a little hungry by now," Altan said. "They're going to be cross. And they're scared."Read More
Altan picked up the heavy pack, carried it to the nest as close as he could get without agitating the babies more than they already were. How could he calm them enough to accept his touch? He'd have to handle them a lot, and it wouldn't be gentle if he were to get them off this narrow mesa. He started singing a song his mother sang when he was little. They watched him; heads cocked at the same angle.
But as soon as he approached the nest they scrambled to the other side, stumbling and climbing over each other. They snapped at him with shrill, agitated cries.
"Ok. I know I’d starve if I had to sing for my soup, but I’m not that bad."
~Keep singing, perhaps it will help calm them. They’ve never seen anything like you,~ spoke Kibrath. ~They are too young to understand when I talk to them, but I'll comfort them as well as I can.~
Altan pulled small pieces of the soaked meat and vegetables—which they weren't too sure about—and toss them into the fledgling's mouths, moving a step closer each time. They squabbled and pushed at each other like "me first, me first." He ran out of the soaked morsels and couldn't cut more fast enough. Are they ever going to be satisfied? I don’t think I brought enough. Each toss a little shorter, he coaxed them closer and closer. There was little left when they approached close enough he could touch them over the sides of the nest. They let him scratch their heads, fingers gentle in the soft feathers. They butted against him, knocking the side of the nest trying to get closer, wanting more food. I wonder if they think I am a crippled Karda with no wings and not enough legs.Read More