The stand-alone fantasy novel “Dragons in the Dungeon” is now available at Amazon.
Goats have proven the grass is greener on the other side of the fence even if it is barren ground and they stand in lush pasture. Humans have a similar mentality. So, it is no surprise when Ryan McCormac, long-time player of Mediaeval Dungeon Adventures, stumbles upon a spell that transports him into a campaign that he believes life will be better.
Any guesses on how it turns out? You’re right. He discovers life is no better in the fantasy realm. Sure, the ex-girlfriend isn’t there, but neither are the friends he gamed with every Friday night. He quickly learns the world is horrible. Every day he fears for his life. The people are soulless, the landscape is colourless and the magic is nowhere to be found. The only way home is to find another like him and sacrifice them.
After five years, he’s finally found someone from his world. Now he just has to get her to the wizard who can perform the spell. Simple right? Except she’s a gatherer and before he reaches the wizard, she’s gathered several friends who plan to save her.
If you played Dungeons and Dragons in the 1980s, you’ve got this. You know the feeling of joining friends on a quest, choosing your race, be it dwarf or elf, your profession, possibly fighter or thief, gathering your gear and exploring endless dungeons. This story is a tribute to those days when life was good, music was better and days were endless.
It’s available in paperback and eBook. Hard cover coming soon.
I don’t like cinnamon rolls. However, my kids do, and they keep telling me I make very good cinnamon rolls. Others have asked me for the recipe, so here it is with the instructions on how I do it. If you don’t make your rolls this way, don’t worry. I’m sure there are more than a dozen ways to make them. This is what works for me, and since everyone who has eaten mine wants more, I might be doing something right.
What You Will Need
1 cup of milk. I use 2% but whole will work just fine. I’m sure skim will also work.
1/2 cup of margarine. You can also use butter or shortening. They’ll turn out slightly different, but use what you have.
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon of salt. I use sea salt. The original recipe had 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt, but I thought that was a little too much.
3 teaspoons of dry yeast. That’s 1 envelope.
1 teaspoon of white sugar. This will go with the yeast and warm water.
1/2 cup of warm water
1 egg, well beaten
4 1/2 cups of white flour. I used unbleached but any regular all-purpose flour will do.
Making the Dough
Step 1: Put milk, margarine, 1/3 cup of sugar and salt in a sauce pan and warm until the margarine is melted. Stir to mix ingredients. Then remove from heat and let cool. It’s vital that this is only lukewarm, not hot, or it will kill the yeast.
Continue reading “Recipe: Cinnamon Rolls” →
Around 1:00 am Friday morning, I turned off the computer and went to bed. I had stayed up late to finish the first draft of Dragons in the Dungeon. Although I had written the final scene twice, it still didn’t feel right. I had to sleep on it.
I woke six hours later and had a clearer image. I rewrote the last scene, didn’t like it and wrote it again. This version satisfied me. It’s the basic form I was searching for, and it officially completed the first draft of this stand-alone traditional fantasy novel.
The word count stands at 154,122. It’s roughly 431 pages (4 inches by 6 inches). It’s broken down into 33 chapters with almost all of them having a second scene. Each chapter has a title.
Continue reading “The First Draft for “Dragons in the Dungeon” is Complete” →
Join me tonight on Twitter where I’m going to add 3,000 words to the novel I’m writing, Dragons in the Dungeon. I’m online shortly after nine o’clock, after the goats are tucked in, with tea in hand, ready to write and share my thoughts.
Currently, I have 85,639 words written about the adventure taking place in Lachspeur of Yore. My goal is 88,639 by the end of the day. I first thought the novel would be only 100,000 words, but I think I’ll need 120,000 to tell the story.
Follow me on Twitter, where I share progress of my novel writing, images of castles, dragons and such, and all things fantasy. No politics. No current day events. Nothing but fantasy. It’s my fantasy realm to escape to. The modern day doesn’t exist there.
Well, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve named the world, the realm, the land my fantasy novel, Dragons in the Dungeon, takes place in.
After a great discussion on Twitter about naming places with lots of suggestions on how to create one and names to use, I reread the comments, scribbled down about 20 names, knocked off a few and thought about it some more.
The name of the fantasy land is: Lachspeur of Yore.
Thank you to everyone who participated. There were many great ideas floating around.
The next step is to draw the map.
Cormac is the first character you’ll meet in Dragons in the Dungeon. After writing more than 76,000 words, I’ve gotten to know the young man fairly well. In the spirit of Dungeons and Dragons, here’s what he rolled.
- Strength: 18
- Dexterity: 15
- Constitution: 12
- Intelligence: 14
- Wisdom: 13
- Charisma: 10
His chosen race is human. His profession is fighter, except he’s lost his confidence. Due to lack of confidence, his charisma is poor. He makes bad decisions and doesn’t learn from them. However, he is strong and has a sharp eye.
His proper name is Ryan McCormac, but he calls himself Cormac in the fantasy realm. He’s 25 years old, has brown hair that reaches his shoulders and a mixture of pale green and grey eyes.
He’s a tad selfish, looks out only for himself and avoids danger like it’s the plague undertaker.
From what I have gathered so far, Cormac started playing Dungeons and Dragons when he was 12 years old. He fell in love with the game and gravitated to the friends who also loved it. He had a tree fort out back of his house his dad had built and every chance they got, they’d play the game there.
Continue reading ““Dragons in the Dungeon” Character: Cormac” →
When writing a novel, I often don’t think about which curse words to use. Most of the time, there are none. Other times, they appear often. That’s how I write my stories: as they flow naturally.
For the characters in Northern Survival, the situation and their life circumstances had them releasing the F-bomb when under stress. Needless to say, they swore. A lot.
However, there are no modern-day curse words in my fantasy novels. There’s darn and damn because I think they’re universal and span realms. I make up these worlds, so I set the rules.
That’s not to say my characters don’t curse. They just do it in their own style.
For example, when a pony spits in Bronwyn Darrow’s face in Shadows in the Stone, he says, “The orc’s curse!”
Continue reading “Curse Words in Fantasy Novels” →
A human lifetime ago, or maybe even longer, an evil wizard tricked a blue dragon and entrapped him in a dungeon below a mountain. He bound him in a web of magic and surrounded him with seven deadly obstacles adventurers had to defeat in order to rescue him.
The brave soul who rescued the dragon would become his master to command him as their slave. The dragon would be released from his bonds when he saved the life of his master.
The evil wizard had created the elaborate plan to gain the command of a dragon for he who controls a dragon was indeed powerful. Once the dragon was imprisoned, the wizard began the quest to rescue him, but he could not overcome the obstacles he had created and died without reaching the dragon.
Seasons passed, the moon waxed and waned, and the young grew old, but time stood still for the dragon. The mountain trapped his magic, and he could not escape. In a moment of desperation, he used his magic on the stream that flowed through the cavern, urging it to take away his grief and misery and share it with the world. Watching sparks of magic float away and disappear into the shallow cave where the water ran, he got an idea.
Continue reading “The Legend of Beguiled Dragon Bridge” →
Money makes the world go around, or at least it can buy books, shoes and a second-hand truck. Long before recorded time, money didn’t exist, and folks bartered: I’ll give you a basket of strawberries for a loaf of bread.
Life was good. Everyone produced something to either use themselves or to trade for things they couldn’t make.
Fast forward a couple thousand years and people don’t have to produce anything if they don’t want to. They can sell their time for money, which they use to buy things. With money comes inflation because those with the most money control its worth. Instead of paying 25 cents for a loaf of bread, we now pay $2.50 or more.
When writing a fantasy novel, money doesn’t always come into play, but sometimes we are stuck with talking about it in a minor way. Loggie is a character in Dragons in the Dungeon. He’s a bard. Sometimes he plays his rebec at taverns for tips. He talks about money.
Continue reading “Show me the Fantasy Money” →
More than two decades ago while researching the races in fantasy novels and in the Dungeons and Dragons game, I came upon the word hauflin. It was, of course, connected with halfling, which was connected with hobbit.
As the story goes, Dungeons and Dragons first used hobbit as a name for a race of small people. Those controlling Tolkien’s literary work didn’t like it, and the makers of D&D were forced to remove the word from their material. Instead, they opted for halfling. While Tolkien’s work occasionally used this word, no fuss was made, and halflings became a mainstay in the game.
During my research, I dug deep into history to learn more of the origins of words and fantastical beings. I wanted to tap into what Tolkien may have when he created his world, so I could perhaps put a new spin on an old idea. This led me to hauflin.
Continue reading “Why my stories contain hauflins not halflings” →