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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy author’

What am I doing, since I’m not blogging? Besides completing the first draft of my latest novella, that is. Reading! Reading, to me, is a way of “refilling the well.”

A friend recently told me she felt that she was reading too much. She ought to be writing, but instead she was reading. I can sympathize. In 2018 I definitely felt like was taking too much time playing video games. True confession: I got into Dragon Age at the start of school in 2017 and it sucked me in completely. I stopped even trying to write in early December, and every inch of my writing mind was jammed until the middle of May 2018. There were times when I was afraid that my writing career was over!

By the way, it isn’t just me. Dragon Age is notorious for sweeping players off on grand adventures. A different friend of mine said that you think you’re going to Texas for Spring Break and six months later you’re in Honduras wondering what happened. So true!

But, guess what? My career didn’t come to an end. At the end of May, I started a novella. It wasn’t fan fiction, though you can see hints of the situations in the games I’d been playing. Presently, I’m about to finish a second, linked novella and have hopes for a third. Between them all, it should be about 100,000 words — and that’s a novel!

At some point, I’ll have to figure out publishing these three linked novellas. A good problem to have.

If you’re making resolutions and have been scolding yourself to write more, I would urge you to stop and think. Don’t resolve to write more because you feel guilty. You won’t create your best work. (Unless you have a contractual obligation — that’s different.) Instead, look at some of the stories that are absorbing you. See what elements you can bring into a new project.

Reading time or video game time or Netflix time or whatever… It doesn’t have to be time wasted.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Do you like dragons? How about beer? Then I have the perfect board game for you!

Dragon Brew is a board game where you plan your estate, cultivate the grain, quest for rare ingredients, and so forth. Meanwhile, unpredictable events try to break down what you’ve built. The endgame is a brewing contest, judged by the Dragon Keeper. What is the Dragon Keeper looking for in a great beer? Those conditions change, so successive games can have surprising outcomes.

Full disclosure — I have not played this game, so I cannot attest to any quirks in the rules. I have it ordered for a certain someone, though. I’m hoping it will be here in time for Christmas. Full review to come, anyhow.

Now, as an F.Y.I, my next post would be on Wednesday, the day after Christmas. I am skipping that to play with whatever new toys I receive. Or more likely, to inhale the new books. Cheers, and I’ll read you again in a week!


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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I was Christmas shopping and spotted this charming dragon hiding among a variety pack of hot sauces. The brand is called Dragon’s Breath. Mmmm, yummy!


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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IMG_20180120_083903058This is a bottle my husband brought home from a visit to a local wine and beer shop.

I’m not such a beer fan, but I’m told it was quite good. One friend said it was so rich it should be called a “dessert beer.”

 


Sign up for my newsletter and win a free E-book, The Weight of Their Souls. Just to go my Facebook page, AuthorDebyFredericks, and click the link on the left that says “Join my mailing list.” Easy, right?

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The best known dragon of Arthurian lore, the Questing Beast is a creature that contradicts itself. It is described as a hideous mongrel with a snake’s head and neck, leopard’s body, hindquarters of a lion, and deer hooves instead of paws. Even stranger is the noise that accompanies the Questing Beast wherever it goes. When it is nearby, you can hear a constant growling and barking as of many hunting hounds. Some legends say that the Beast actually did swallow a pack of hounds and they are still barking inside its belly!

In the Middle Ages, questing was another word for the cry of hounds following a scent. Indeed, its name in French is the Beast Glatisant, which refers to the baying of a pack of hounds. So, calling it a Questing Beast is something of a joke. For further irony, the Questing Beast doesn’t seem to be questing for anything. Instead, various characters take it as their quest to slay the Questing Beast.

This dragon’s initial appearance in Arthurian lore is when King Arthur wakes from a nightmare and beholds this bizarre animal with its noisy ambiance. It seems Arthur had spent a night of passion with a woman named Morgause (a.k.a. Morgan Le Fey), not knowing she was his sister. Their son, Mordred, was destined to destroy everything Arthur tried to build. The Questing Beast’s arrival is believed to be harbinger of this doom.

Arthur chose not to pursue the Beast, but soon after he was approached by another knight. King Pellinore explained that it was his family’s curse to endlessly pursue the Questing Beast. Arthur consulted his wizard, Merlin, who divined the dragon’s origins. A princess had once been tempted by the Devil to lust after her own brother. Through Satan’s machinations, the brother was killed, and their child was born twisted by his mother’s crimes. Perhaps King Pellinore was descended from the same royal family. This could explain his oath to destroy the Beast.

A separate story describes the Questing Beast quite differently. In this version, Sir Percival encounters the Beast while searching for the Holy Grail. What Percival sees is a small animal, pure white and beautiful to behold. The barking still accompanies it, except when the Beast pauses to drink from a pool. Some have suggested the Questing Beast represents Christ guiding Sir Percival on his quest. However, evil forces are tearing the Beast apart from inside. This could refer to Jews, who follow the Old Testament instead of Christ’s teachings, or it could just mean all those rude people who insist on talking during mass.

In yet another variation, the Questing Beast is hunted by Sir Palmades, a Saracen knight who wants to win the affection of Queen Isolde of Cornwall. I was kind of surprised to learn there had been a Saracen knight in Arthurian lore. Ultimately Sir Palmades converts to Christianity and puts his hopeless love aside.

And those are just the Medieval variations on the Questing Beast! Check back on Saturday for the more contemporary versions of this ancient dragon.


A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection

Masters of Air & Fire, Lucy D. Ford’s middle-grade novel

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

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Koschei is a legendary character of Russian folklore who sometimes took the shape of a dragon. He seems to have originally been a man, in some versions related to the dreaded witch, Baba Yaga. With his magical might, Koschei could change his form to the dragon or a whirlwind. However, that was not his greatest power. Koschei was called Deathless because he had discovered the secret to immortality!

Perhaps it was more of a work-around for death. Koschei had learned how to separate his soul from his body. He kept his soul in a secret hiding place. As long as it remained inviolate, Koschei could never be killed.

Freed from the fear of death, Koschei embarked on a reign of terror. Nobody could resist his draconic power, and of course, no one could kill him. Only one brave prince stood against the tyrant. Koschei tried to force him into submission. He assumed his whirlwind form and swooped down upon the prince’s beloved wife. Screams trailed behind them as he snatched her away.

The prince faced a grim choice, to submit to a tyrant or lose his dear wife. But the princess was just as brave as her husband. She pretended to admire her captor. With flattery, she tried to find out the source of his immortality. First she found out that his soul was hidden away. Then she begged to know where it was hidden. Koschei enjoyed her attention, but he wasn’t completely taken in. He gave her a false answer. The princess got a message to her husband telling him of the hiding place. He rushed to the spot and destroyed the supposed vessel of Koschei’s soul.

When it became evident that Koschei was alive and as wicked as ever, the princess again pleaded to know where his soul was kept. Again, he lied. Again, she got word to her husband and again he tried to destroy Koschei’s soul. It did no good. A third time, the princess wheedled and teased. Koschei gave what seemed like a ridiculous answer: his soul was in a pebble, inside the yolk of an egg, inside a duck, inside a hare, inside a great rock, on an island.

After many trials, the brave prince managed to find the island, the rock, the hare, the duck, and the egg. Believe it or not, there was a pebble inside the egg! He took it back to confront Koschei, fully expecting that the dragon would kill him. But a slight blow from the tiny pebble restored the wizard’s soul. All the deaths that had been warded off suddenly fell upon him, and he was killed instantly! The prince and princess were reunited, and peace restored to the land.

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Through silver skies
The snow it flies —
And so do I!

To my in-laws’ house, that is. Happy holidays!

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