What could go wrong if I block out the sun?

What do you think? Is this a good premise for a short story? Is it believable or science fiction?

The story opens with the population on planet Ragstone worried their planet is getting too warm to support life. For millions of years, the temperature had risen and fallen, at times being completely tropical and other times being gripped by an ice age with thick ice across the land.

The climate on this planet is constantly changing. Core samples taken at various locations reveal that sometimes it’s warmer than it is right now, and sometimes it’s colder. Still life goes on. The humans on this planet have been around in their current form for more than 200,000 years. That’s a pretty long time, and they’ve survived the heat and the cold because humans adapt. It’s one of the things they excel at. The weak succumb, but the strong adapt and thrive.

Most people on Ragstone don’t know about the planet’s climate history; they just believe without questioning those making claims the temperature is rising and all life is at risk.

Along comes a man, who is known for his intelligence but not his wisdom. He’s a geek and has been bullied in his early years because, let’s be honest, he’s weird. Let’s call him Will.

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30,000-word Milestone Reached for “Seeds of Life”

For several years, the Seeds of Life story has rattled around in my brain. To silence the chatter, I started recording it on September 13th. I write approximately 500 words a day at this time of year because there’s so many other things going on.

On October 27th, I reached the 30,000-word milestone. When it comes to writing, my journey is like crawling up a large seesaw. At first, the going is slow; the climb is steep, and I need to build momentum. Then, around the mid-way range, the  seesaw levels out, and I pick up speed. The seesaw soon starts to tip in the other direction, and by the time I’ve crossed over to the last 1/3 of the story, I’m travelling quickly, non-stop to reach the end. It’s a rush, and I’m excited to learn what happens. I burn the midnight oil and I rise early to continue the adventure. I ignore everything and everyone until the final words are recorded.

At 30,000 words, I’m one-third the distance to the end. Within three weeks, the seesaw is going to be level, and then I’ll write a few thousand words a day. I expect to finish this story by the end of November. It will ripen for the next few seasons, then, if all goes well, it will be published December 2021.

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Sneak Peak at My Next Project: The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes

I’m brainstorming to find a catch-phrase to capture the essence of The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes, my next book. Here are the ones I’ve written so far.

  • She’d sacrificed everything for her family, including her identity
  • She didn’t recognise the person in the mirror
  • Who she was had disappeared with the years
  • The stranger in the mirror begged for more from life
  • She equally had it all and nothing after decades of marriage
  • Sometimes we tell ourselves the biggest lies
  • She reserved the most convenient lies for herself

More on The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes soon.

Book 4: Healing Stones is Complete – First Chapter

On Friday, I wrote the final words to the fourth book in the Castle Keepers series. Healing Stones came to 142,169 words. Obviously, it won’t stay that count; editing and revisions will change it, but not drastically. If all goes as planned, the book will be released in September 2019.

Healing Stones focusses on the remaining members of The Mercenaries after the brutal battle at the end of Revelation Stones. They set out to find Liam Jenkins, Isla’s friend from her youth, the boy who she pledged to unite with when she was only twelve years old.

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Jack Somerled

Jack Somerled

Human, explorer, first appeared in chapter 09 of Scattered Stones

“Knavesmire!” The rough voice hacked the name as if it were phlegm.

Jack Somerled’s ears twitched, but his body remained relaxed as his fork poked a potato and lifted it to his mouth. From his corner seat in the tavern, he had a clear view of the scraggly group of mixed-raced men hoarded around a table slinging ale and feasting on plates of meat.

“If he avers to have journeyed there, he’s peddling featherless fletching.” The heavily bearded human chuckled.

“I stated not that he’d journeyed,” said a hauflin, “only that he’d seen it.”

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Lord Dirck Landis

Lord Dirck Landis

Human, lord of Aruam Castle, first appeared in chapter 05 of Shadows in the Stone

The door slammed and Lord Dirck Landis jumped from his chair to see who had entered. Two of his senior guards dragged a prisoner into the room and tossed him against the wall.

“My Lord,” Corporal Franklin motioned towards the tattered elf sprawled on the floor. “He is suspected of using magic within the town walls.”

“It was ignite powder!” the young man shouted. “Harmless!”

“Witnesses claim otherwise,” said the guard.

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Kellyn Mulryan

Kellyn Mulryan

Dwarf, sword fighter, prisoner at Blackvale Castle, born Glen Tosh, first appeared in Scattered Stones.

“Stop!” shouted the guard. “You can’t go in there!”

Kellyn ignored the quackpod and kept running. As she drew water from the well in the courtyard, she had seen Merk cross the open balcony and enter his study. He had been absent from Blackvale Castle for several days, and this was the first opportunity to inform him of the tragedy that had occurred to his favourite prisoner.

She reached the door, flung it open and raced inside. Merk stood admiring a painting on the far wall. He glanced in her direction but remained silent.

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Emerson Wheatcroft

Emerson Wheatcroft

Human, cartographer, born Maskil, lives Wandsworth, first appeared in the short story “Destiny Governed their Lives”.

Emerson Wheatcroft neatly scrolled the word Goshen near the circle representing the village on the map. He blew gently on the hide to quicken the drying time. It had taken him a fortnight to reach the labelling phase; the customer required it to be practical yet pleasant to the eye.

He rested in his chair and admired his artisanship. At this point—with the mountains, rivers and settlements dotting the landscape—he felt satisfied. The labelling was a mere detail, an important one, but one many people achieved successfully.

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Lord Merk Lindrum

Lord Merk Lindrum

Human, Lord of Blackvale Castle, sorcerer, first appeared in chapter 27 of Shadows in the Stone

The brush touched the canvas lightly, dabbing grey shadows on the undersides of fluffy clouds floating outside the window. Satisfied, Merk Lindrum turned his attention to the cat lounging on the sill. It also required more shadowing.

He glanced around the easel and scrutinized his pet; its white fur shined as it lay stretched in the sun, sleeping. A few strokes on canvas and it would be perfect. His fan brush gently stroked the watercolours together to create tiny hairs that stabbed into the shadow.

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Lord Laird Mulryan

Lord Laird Mulryan

Dwarf, lord of Aruam Castle, first appeared in chapter 05 of Shadows in the Stone

The sun shined in the window, and Lord Laird Mulryan leant on the sill looking over the grounds of Aruam Castle and Maskil. The morning has been pleasant; he had enjoyed the day’s first ration surrounded by those he loved most. The small gestures, smiles and friendly chatter left him feeling as if he were the luckiest man in Ath-o’Lea.

He sighed, already missing their company and longing to return, but two days were all he could muster to be away from his post. Significant matters needed tending; he had to put the order in for new recruits to bolster the lower ranks. The combined numbers of foot soldiers and castle guards was to be maintained at one thousand fighting men and from his calculations, they were severely deficient.

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