Monthly Archives: February 2013

Moon bridge by masKade

Today’s art is Moon bridge by masKade. I saw this on tumblr yesterday thanks to a friend and just fell in love with it, and the originally poster was a gem and had the link to where I could find the original.

I love the moon, especially the full moon. Even if lately with this full moon I’ve been back to exhausting dreams and sleepless moments each night. Last night I went and stood outside, barefoot on the grass and just let the bright moonlight wash over me before I went and crawled into bed. It was the best feeling.

Seeing this image prompted just a small bit of poetic inspiration:

You asked me for the moon and I gave it to you.

But not all things in life are easy

You must reach for it too

What do you take from this picture? Does the full moon inspire anything for you? Be it ritual, habit or transforming into a large and fuzzy creature of myth?

Writer Wednesday – Stephen King

312629_4932149862140_642224250_nWelcome to my second writer Wednesday blog – Today’s inspiration for me as a writer – Stephen King.

Now that is probably no surprise to most people, and it is not unlike a lot of other writers I know.

I can’t recall the first book of his that I read; I do know the first movie of his work I watched was IT. I remember it quite clearly. I was at a friend’s house for her birthday sleep over. I think we would have been twelve at the time, it was three in the morning and we decided that it would be a good idea to watch a scary movie. We were all snuggled up on the couch and floor together, I think there may have even been some hand holding. What we didn’t realise was that the birthday girl’s cute older brother had snuck into the room and just as Pennywise was about to do something terrible hands came around me and a voice whispered in my ear, “Don’t get scared now.” I, of course, screamed. Everyone else screamed. He laughed until it hurt. Then we all ganged up and hurt him some more. It left a lasting impression, and even now that movie is scarier because I can recall that moment of fear.

Right….book….writing…. I’ve read a lot of Mr King’s work. Some of it I haven’t been so in to. Other books have sucked me in. The Dark Tower books did that. ‘Salem’s Lot did that too… actually ‘Salem’s Lot really got under my skin, so much so that when a newlywed Justine was left at home while husband Alyn headed down to Wellington for work she forced best man Bryce to come and stay with her and keep her safe so she could keep reading and was able to walk around the house without total heart failure in the dark. I can’t be sure but I think Bryce might have taken advantage of my fear to jump out and go boo at some point one night. My friends are good like that.

The book that has most inspired me is Stephen King “On Writing” no big surprise there. I purchased it back I think in 2005 or 2006 and read it straight through, having done that I sat down and wrote the first draft of Eiridis in six weeks. I loved the way his book was written and what he was saying. I especially loved the closed door concept. And it is something I really need to do again. Close the door, literally or figuratively and write. I can achieve amazing things when I do that. I did that for Nyssa’s Tale and managed to do 40,000 words in less than two weeks. The key was to lock out the world. Okay I didn’t lock it out completely but I was on holiday at a lovely motel in Auckland for part of it, and limited internet meant that I mostly just kept Sam in my IMs and stayed away from twitter, facebook, and all the other websites I chat on and waste time on. I think that is a big key to getting things written and finished…remove the distractions. That was something Stephen King taught me, among many other things. He also inspired my love of having stories cross over, characters make cameos….and once you start reading more of my/our work you’ll see just how much I love that concept.

So Mr King, thank you for the words, the help and the inspiration. One day I hope to say thank you in person.

Ladies of the Lake

So I wanted to do another teaser for Tuesday. We have so many stories we are working on,  and I want to share them all. So I asked Sam for a suggestion as to what I should share of ours today. She, with very little hesitation, said “Ladies of the Lake”. Now as you have probably guessed this first-draft-writing-in-progress is part of the Shadows of Avalon and is in fact a flashback to times gone by and the days of Arthur….


She came from the lake, water spilling from her body as the wet cloth clung to her. She glowed in the twilight as she moved towards the party, the men on horseback waiting on the shore. She knew each by face and by name though none knew her, not yet. The sun had vanished behind the clouds as it set though the hint of its light remained setting the lake and sky to a deep blue the lake rippling with dark shadows and in the water she stood there in her silver gown, the retrieved sword in her hands, though it was not the one that was promised to this man who rode at the head of the pack, his would come in time but that time was not tonight and she would not be the one to bring it to him.
This sword belonged to another who rode to join them now, he alone knew her face, though many who looked on her now knew her soul in the lives that had come before them.
“Madame, you will catch a chill.” A young knight jumped from his horse and came forward once he had tugged a cloak free of his belongings strapped to the horse. “Please, take this, we will cast our eyes away and let you change from these sodden clothes. It would not do well for you to catch your death.” The man came closer to her and noticed first the sword in her hands and then the mark on her forehead that denoted her as a priestess of the Isle. He dropped to bent knee before her and held out his cloak, head bowed in reverence. “My lady I did not know you for who you were.”
“And yet you showed me kindness and respect, your heart is ever pure Bedevere. I thank you for the gesture.”
“You know me lady?” He tilted his head and looked up at her, the others remaining silent on their horses but all looked on curious as to what was transpiring that one of their own would drop to bended knee before her.
“I know you all.” She smiled kindly at him and then as she touched a hand to his to raise him up she turned her eyes to the others. “Please, you are all welcome at the lake. You may rest here as you planned to for the night.”
Their leader jumped from his horse and strode forward, wearing his crown well for all his youthful years and short months upon the throne.
“You know us lady, but please let us give our names and greetings as if we were strangers to you, as you are to us.” He unsheathed his sword and set it into the ground before him and knelt before it. “I am Arthos, or Arthur as the people all me.”
“Be welcome Arthur, I am Niniane of the Lake and I have been sent to bring this to another of your party who lost it many years ago in an argument with a young priestess.”
“A young priestess who was ever stubborn and would not cast aside duty.” A figure broke from the darkness of the trees, leading a horse that favoured it’s front right hoof.
“A young priestess who fought with a stubborn young priest who would not cast aside his own duty either. Hello Myrddin.”
“Hello Niniane, the years have been kind to you.” Myrddin let his horse free as another knight left his own to tend to it. He moved to her side and bent his head to kiss her cheek. “I have missed you.”
“And yet you have not come to call on me.” She chided him gently though there was still accusation in her words. He had not returned to the Isle in seven years since they had argued and he had thrown the sword she had given him into the lake in his anger. He had left her then, left the island and not returned until this night when he brought the new king he had chosen over her, to find blessing with Lord and Lady of the Isle and the great Gods who blessed this place.
“I have been busy.”
“I have seen.”
“You have watched me then?”
“Often do I go to your sanctuary and let the cave of crystal show me you as you have been and are. We both submitted to our duty this does not mean my heart turned as cold as that crystal against you.” Niniane spoke with no embarrassment as she admitted that she still loved the man who now wore grey in his beard.
“It seems there are stories to be shared, but perhaps camp might be made and dinner prepared if we are to spend the night here, the light will fade soon and we are without the moon tonight.” A handsome young knight moved from his horse.
“Gwaine is right, you should all be about your business as if I did not disturb you. If you would be willing to share your meal with me I should repay by sharing a story or two.”
“It shall be as you say lady.” Gwaine bowed low in her direction and all the knights and their king followed suit, the only one who did not bow was Myrddin, he stood fixed in place his eyes moving from her face to the sword and Niniane fought to not laugh at him. Though he would have known that he might see her in this journey he clearly did not expect to find her so soon.
“Will you walk with me Myrddin?” She asked in a soft voice, still holding his sword in her hands.
“Forgive me lady.” Arthur took a step closer to them, clearly feeling he was intruding and seeming almost bashful for it.
“Yes my king?” Niniane turned her gaze to the young king from his mentor.
“You are still dressed in your wet clothes and it still stands that in this cool night air you might take a chill and become unwell and none here will allow such a thing to come to pass and rest on our conscience. Please let us give you dry clothes before you and Myrddin take your leave to continue your reunion.”
“You are quite the silver tongue my king and I will gratefully accept the lending of clothes, I was foolish in that I did not think beyond my quest to retrieve the sword from where it lay hidden to what my state would be after. The Lady would chide me for it, though it would not I believe surprise her that I would act so, especially not when this one is involved.” Niniane spoke in a low conspiratorial tone and gave Arthur a wink that caused him to look even more self-conscious. It amused her that he in such a position as he held would act in such a way. It gave her more hope for his reign after the bloodshed and destruction of his father.
Arthur was all king though as he waved his hand for others to bring to him the clothes he had offered but she did not begrudge him that, he was after all king. Bedevere came forth and offered his cloak to go with the rest and she accepted it with no hesitation. She knew their pride would not allow her to say no and she wished them to be at ease with her.
“I will change over in the trees.” She turned and began to walk only to pause at the sound of footsteps on the lake stones behind her. She turned back to face the way she had come and found Myrddin close behind her. “One might wonder where you think you are going?”
“I will not spy while you change but I will not allow you to enter the woods with no escort nearby nor will I let you too far from my sight this evening.” He gave her a smile that she had missed all too much and one she could not resist.
“Very well.” Niniane continued to walk to the trees and finding one with a trunk of suitable girth she moved behind it to shed her damp dress and change. She had to admit once she had secured the pants around her with the rope belt and pulled the cloak around her shoulders that it did feel better to be dry, the slight breeze did not seem to move through to her bones in the same fashion now. She retrieved her wet dress and undergarments from the forest floor and held them in one hand while she picked up Myrddin’s sword in the other as she came forth from behind the tree and into his sight once more.
“Do you recall the night you gave that to me?”
“I do, in vivid detail including the moment you cast it away and broke the promise between us.” Tallking of the memory brought it to mind and the feelings of that night burned as strong as the image burned bright in her mind.
“You would not come away with me.” Myrddin replied, his tone defensive.
“And you would not stay with me.” Niniane tried not to react to the tone but though years had passed the hurt still remained between them. “You had your duty and I had mine and we are hardly strangers to it being this way.”
“Your lips.”
“My lips?” Niniane blinked her eyes at his reply to her words, they were not expected.
“I would kiss them.”
“You are not free to give me the promises that your kiss has always held Myrddin, we might not either be strong enough to survive it.”
“And yet standing there all I wish for is to kiss them again, to know you again, your body and pleasure as is my right as your chosen.”
“You chose me Myrddin, claimed me but you left me and it near destroyed me, I come to make peace, not to make love.”
“You do not feel the same as you once did.” His words accused her even as his eyes turned cold and hard in anger.
“I feel as I always have, I loved you before you claimed me and I love you still, my body still stirs for yours Myrddin as it ever has, there has been no other I have lain with in ritual or in pleasure.” Niniane looked down at the sword in her hands, tears stinging at her eyes and she tried to blink them away before they could fall and betray the sadness in her heart. “I gave you this sword six moons after you claimed me as the wolf to my dragon, it was to be the gift of our betrothal and when you threw it away you threw with it my heart. I give you back your sword and give you always my heart, but I can never be yours as you cannot be mine. We have been given our tasks and will shall do them because our lives are only two compared to the many that will be blessed and the peace that will hold these lands if we do as we are tasked.”
Myrddin did not reply but took her by the arms and pulled her to him, his arms locked around her and he held her tight in his embrace. No words spoken though any watching could see from the shaking of their bodies that both wept for what they had between them, for what had been and what could be and would not.
Niniane was first to break their embrace though she did not wish to but she was not strong enough to remain in his arms and not be moved, not relent and let his lips taste hers once more. More nights than she could count had passed as she wished to kiss him again, to lie with him again and she knew that she would relent far too easily and perhaps even turn her back on her task.
“I promised the king and his companions a tale for my supper, I should pay the debt.”
“There is no debt, you have not eaten and even if you had already not one man expects anything for the gesture of hospitality.” Myrddin said and let his hand rise to wipe a tear from her cheek but his hand froze in place between them without reaching her cheek. For a moment her heart had sped up as she thought he might so tenderly touch her and she turned aside when he did not so he would not see into her eyes.
“Come let us eat supper together and let me share in the hospitality offered.” Niniane drew her eyes from the ground to look briefly at Myrddin and then handing the sword into his keeping once more she turned and made her way to the fireside, taking a place offered to her at Arthur’s right side. It was a position of honour and she accepted it with a smile keeping her eyes from seeking out Myrddin in the firelight once more.

Music Muse Monday – Smashing Pumpkins “1979”

Welcome to another new thing for the blog. As I’ve already blogged about, music is a huge part of my writing and inspiration. So keeping that in mind I thought I could make Monday about sharing the music I’ve been listening to for inspiration, or music that has inspired.

Today’s song, (and the whole album “Melancholy and the infinite sadness”), has been music that has inspired me for a long time. When I knocked out Eiridis in six weeks I listened to the album and song again and again. The muse has been a bit more on the quiet side the last few days, so with that in mind I decided this morning that it was time to turn back to some tried and true music to get me inspired and get the words flowing. (Even if it is Monday and I do have to leave for work in fifteen minutes).

There might be another reason that I adore this song. If you listen to the lyrics you might just be able to work out why. *grins*

So what songs inspire you? What are you listening to at the moment?


Our souls touched

I had a strange dream last night. It involved organising to pick pocket a visiting priestess who turned out to be on our side, small earthquakes and ominous raging seas, singing the song from King Arthur and magically jumping around the land to avoid Roman soldiers.
So, really, pretty normal for me.
I woke up feeling inspired and rather magical. And I wrote a poem. It was around four am in the morning so I wrote it by the light of the phone into my notebook, so as you can imagine…staying within the lines on the page did not happen. I thought I would share the poem. It relates very much to a few of our characters in our stories. The souls in some of our stories, especially the Children of the Immortals and the Shadows of Avalon tales, are bound beyond death and distance – for better or worse sometimes. But in my mind it is a powerful concept and at times a romantic one. Our souls may touch from life to life and be drawn back to each other again.
Our souls touched
In days gone by
The world does not forget these things
We do not forget these things
As lives move on
Death may come
We may return
But we do not forget these things
Our souls touched
You are a part of me