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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This is the current chapter I'm working on for Book Two. It's not perfect, but feel free to leave feedback.
Book Two of Blue Moon Rising Trilogy
Copyright © 2008 Bonnie Watson. All Rights Reserved.


“Do you think he’ll wake by noon?”

Josephine’s teasing voice floated into the small bedroom where Keith lay curled in bed. Faintly was he aware of warm sunlight trailing over his body from the room’s single window. The bed he slept on was never unmade, having fallen asleep as soon as his mental probe returned. You were warned, was the last of Osha before he had blacked out. Now as the smell of breakfast flooded his nostrils, Keith recalled why his energy had depleted without warning.

You pulled me back. The Healer inhaled deeply and let out a sigh. Slowly, he let his body uncurl and stretched. Muscles relaxed while his aching spine popped. “Forgive me,” he whispered to the ceiling.

Footsteps nearing turned his attention to the opened doorway.

Upon seeing his stirring guest, Josephine gave a wide grin.

“Hungry? A good meal always does the trick. How’d you sleep?”

“Don’t pressure him!” his grandfather scolded in the background, though it did little to deter the young man’s good humor.

Keith yawned and wiped a hand across his brow to rid sleep from his eyes and last night’s failure.

“How late did I sleep?” he asked. Gripping the sheets, he managed to pull himself into a sitting position before sliding to the edge.

“Late enough,” Josephine piped. His curious gaze trailed over the still-made bed, and he chuckled. “Not used to blankets? Sleep under the stars, is that it? I’d love to be able to do that.”

“Will you quit pestering him and get in here!” The serious tone only widened the young man’s grin. With a shrug, he stepped away to set the table.

Sounds of sizzling caught Keith’s attention, and he rose to investigate the type of breakfast being prepared.

“You know, having a metal shop next door really helps with cooking,” Josephine continued. He reached for drink glasses on an upper shelf. While holding two in one arm, he grabbed a third and set them carefully on the table. “Have a seat. It should be ready soon.”

“Smells good,” Keith said. “May I ask the menu?”

Josephine laughed. “Nothing too fine or fancy, I’ll admit.”

The opened door between home and shop allowed a glimpse at some of the ship’s metal work. It was also the source of sizzling, though it was not long before the sound lessened and Mr. Phine tromped through the doorway carrying a tray of steaming food.

“Eggs and toast,” the older man said. He set the tray in the table’s center before pulling off a glove used to carry it. “Toast for you. Don’t know if you like eggs.”

“No bacon?” Josephine asked with disappointment.

“As expensive as meat is?” his grandfather shot him a look. “Didn’t you even hear what I told you last night?”

“Oh!” the young man’s face suddenly reddened. “Sorry.” He handed Keith a plate. “Do you care for eggs? They are good.”

Keith accepted the plate with a nod.

“I take it you told your grandson about me?”

“Nothing personal,” the man replied, “but I felt he needed to know so he wouldn’t sound stupid this morning about the bacon.” He eyed his grandson, whose cheeks still burned with embarrassment.

Keith chuckled. “Eggs are fine, and toast please.”

“They’re not really meat, are they?” Josephine scooped some eggs on Keith’s plate and handed him a piece of toast.
“You have a very good memory of us,” Keith said to Mr. Phine.

Josephine’s grandfather scooped a helping of eggs onto his plate, followed by his grandson.

“Like I said before, I have an eye for detail. Of all the things I saw them eating, it was never meat.”

“What’s wrong with meat?”

“Do you ever shut up?” Josephine’s grandfather grumbled.

Keith cracked a smile. “Actually, it has to do with a balance between us and Nature.” He took a bite of eggs, then reached for his drink, forgetting it was empty until he tried to take a sip.

A slap to the back of Josephine’s head was the reply.

“You oaf!” Mr. Phine scolded. “It’s one thing to set out drinks, but when you don’t fill ‘em – go get the good stuff!”

Josephine was up in an instant. Too fast, his knee slammed the underside of the table. The next instant he was on the floor crawling toward the shop in haste.

Mr. Phine just lowered his gaze and shook his head.

“Is it too much to ask?” he mumbled.

Keith cleared his throat. “I could heal that, if you want.”

“No no! This happens all the time, really.” Josephine grasped the edge of the counter to hoist himself up, then limped into the shop. After much clatter and banging cabinet doors, he finally limped back to the table with a bottle of Falconberry Wine.

Attempting to open it, he nearly sent it bouncing to the floor when Keith stopped its crash-course landing with a thought. Gesturing to the table, the bottle lifted itself up, uncorked the top and poured out three glasses.

Mr. Phine said nothing while Josephine stared in amazement. Already, his throbbing knee was long forgotten.
“Can you do that with people?”

“Can you mind your manners a bit more?” Josephine’s grandfather shoveled in a spoonful of eggs, then bit off a piece of toast. His loud chewing cracked a smile on Keith’s face.

“The last time I tasted Falconberry Wine was at Luxor Castle.” He raised his glass and let the sweet fragrance fill his nose before taking a sip. He licked his lips several times. “Just as I remember.”

“Doesn’t Luxor float?” Josephine asked. After brushing a few crumbs from his stunning blue vest, he took a long sip.
“It does,” Keith answered.

“Which we’ll never see,” Mr. Phine commented. “Poor folk like us don’t see very much. And with that storm brewing up north,” he flicked his gaze to Keith, “that’s what keeps us poor.”

“I have a friend who’s there now.” Keith kept his voice stern and white eyebrows lowered in serious expression.
“There’s someone there?” Josephine asked. “Is that possible?”

“Apparently if you have relations with a magic-user, it is,” Keith replied. “But the whole goal is this: I’m hoping he will discover a weakness to all this mess. That way when I contact him, I’ll have a better answer. I have nothing to go on right now but theories.” He glanced at Josephine. “By the way, how’s that knee of yours?”

The young man looked down and felt around the spot of impact.

“Huh. Funny. I can’t feel it anymore.” He looked up. “Did you..?”

Keith shrugged. “It’s the least I could do for the time being.”

“Great!” Mr. Phine kept a straight face as he stood and brushed off his shirt. He reached for the stained apron hanging beside the door. “Shouldn’t have a problem going to town then. Day’s wasting and there’s much to be done. Josephine, clean up this mess. And you?” He bowed his head to Keith. “I bid you good day.”

The slam of shop door behind him left the two men alone. It was not long before hammering started.

Josephine glanced at Keith, a sly grin spreading across his lips.

“Do you think you could do that trick with the dishes like you did the wine bottle?”


Josephine proved quite the chatterbox as Keith accompanied him from Harbor’s Point. The one-way conversation allowed the Healer some time to better take in his surroundings. An ear flicked toward the sound of gravel crunching beneath their boots on the wide dirt road, though he did not show his ears for long and quickly replaced the illusion to hide them. Being in human territory meant more than mere chance acquaintances.

He stole a quick glance at Josephine. Showing his ears had dominated the better part of his companion’s chatter, and he hoped it would not become the main conversation in town. Yet Josephine was easily amused. With a simple suggestion, the subject quickly switched to town history. The mention of the Shevolsky family held Keith’s attention while continuing to observe the many rolling hills and valleys.

When they reached the top of a hill, Keith breathed a sigh of relief. Just ahead, the town of Trully rose into the golden afternoon sunlight while Josephine carried on.

“It’s not like Lexington, I’m afraid,” he said. “Lexington changes merchants from day to day. Here, it’s just the same stuff. But there’s a lot of it, for sure. You can get just about anything, and probably more of it since no one’s been traveling lately.”

“And where—” Keith started, but Josephine cut him off.

“The Shevolsky’s live off the main road. We took the side road, though you’ll still find them wandering into town now and then.”

“Do you—”

“Grandfather won’t come into town by himself, though. He’ll send me instead.” He grinned. “Can you imagine seeing him running up the road at his age? Wouldn’t happen.”

“Why run?”

The young man paused briefly to search the ground, then pointed at a set of rocks placed on either side of the road.

“See those? This marks the edge of the Shevolsky territory.”

“You said they lived off the main road,” Keith replied.

Josephine laughed. “Sure. But they always seem to stop chasing you at this point.” Grinning, he moved on while Keith pondered his words a bit more.

“You mean they used to chase you, right?” Keith quickened his pace to catch up to his friend.

“Oh, I’m pretty sure they’ll chase anyone they can. They’re like dogs, see? Dogs like to chase things.”

Keith cracked a grin. “You don’t seem to be too concerned.”

“Na. Only when you leave. That’s when they start gathering in the street like they been watching ya all day or something. They want what you buy, see? That way they don’t spend any money on their own.”

“Who are they anyway?” Keith asked.

“Peter’s eldest of six brothers. Their father’s remarried several times. Maybe had more from different wives. Who knows? They’re one big family, and they’re very close.”

They two came up besides a brownish-gray building with a welcome sign pointed toward anyone traveling from Harbor Point. In the center of town the road widened. Two story buildings lined the dirt street on either side. Most were the same with worn paint peeling off sideboards and missing roof shingles. Keith guessed the insides were just as shabby from leaks and no business.

And no money to fix things because the Shevolsky’s have it all.

Keith tried reading some of the faded signs hanging upon each entrance. While the letters were still legible, their presentation was not. Upon close inspection, he noticed an array of different colored paints faded over time.
This used to be nice. His gaze followed Josephine across the street, and he wondered if anyone even ran the stores. Everything looked deserted. That changed once he made his way inside one of the shops. The smell of homemade pie livened the mood.

“Well, hello there!” a woman’s voice called cheerfully from behind a counter. “Saw you with Josephine. Not many travelers come this way. Least ye ain’t one of those Schevolsky boys.”

Keith turned toward the stout woman dressed in a brown and red ruffled skirt. A white apron tied around the back of her neck and came down across her chest. It tied again at the waist before flowing out and stopped where the skirt ended.

“Come for some pies, dear? Or just looking?” The woman sighed over the young man’s pale appearance. “Not from around here, are ya? No, thought not. That Josephine – don’t know where he finds ‘em, but he always manages to bring along someone now and again. Oh well! Good for business, I suppose.”

“It smells delicious,” Keith replied with ease. “I take it Josephine comes often?”

The little woman chortled and came around the side of the counter to the window. From inside, they could see Josephine busily gathering tools for his grandfather and stuffing them in a large basket.

“He’s such a dear! Poor thing.” She turned to Keith. “You two best hurry before those Schevolsky’s come round! Don’t want ‘em catching ya unprepared. And here.” She picked up a steaming pie sitting on the counter. “This is for his lovely grandfather. He requested one last week but those boys got to it first.”

“I’ll make sure he gets it,” Keith promised before heading out. He waved to his friend.

“Oh, you picked it up for me. Great!” Josephine grinned. “Here, there’s room.” He placed the warm pie on top of the new tools. “Was wondering when I’d get the chance to pick this up. Grandfather does love his blackberries.”

“The woman from the shop said the Schevolsky’s got the last one,” Keith said.

Josephine nodded. “Yep.” He waved to the man standing at the shop window.

Keith noticed a few others at their windows too, though no one attempted to come outside.

“I guess being outside for people is enough for trouble,” he said.


Grabbing up the basket, the young man attempted to carry it with both hands. Yet with a twitch of the wrist, Keith placed it within his traveling crystal.

“What the...?” Josephine bewildered look made Keith laugh.

“Well now we don’t have to worry about pies being taken,” the Healer held up the sapphire stone,” unless they take this.”

“Should have known you’d do something…unexpected.” Josephine glanced around the area. “We should get going.”

“The clan?”


At a hand to Josephine’s shoulder, the young man turned with puzzled expression.

“Jose, relax,” Keith reassured. “I won’t let anything happen to you. You know that, don’t you? Using thought to lift a couple of plates is nothing compared to what I’m truly capable of. Trust me.”

He felt the young man relax, then breath a sigh of relief.

“No, I trust you. It’s just…well – no one likes dealing with their father. He’s a stern man. You mess with his sons, you mess with him. And once he’s angry…watch out! There’s no stopping a madman!”

Monday, November 10, 2008

I signed up on By November 19th, I'll have four images in a gallery. They're very strict on rules and maintaining their art. That's why it takes so long. At least I'm glad all you do is type in a username and password. They used to have ten pages of questions to answer before you could officially join. What a joke! Not to mention their site kept going down almost daily. I still like better, but Elfwood has some nice pieces. I learned about that site way back in college. Why I never joined then, I have no clue!

My novel Wisodm was requested by the publisher Silver Leaf Books, LLC. Two copies of the manuscript were sent Monday August 18, 2008 and arrived in Holliston, MA on Wednesday August 20, 2008. They have an estimated 120 days to review the book and make a decision. This is the second time I have sent to them. The first time was rejected. Good thing. After submitting a letter telling them I had made mega changes, they requested to see it again. Apparently, there's something in the story / plot / character development they like, or they wouldn't have asked for it again. As soon as I hear something, I'll write another announcement. So... counting down the days...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I've shared some of this before with one or two of you, but I thought I'd share with the rest some thoughts about a possible third trilogy.

To recap:

In the first two trilogies, Wisdom (main character) defeats the creator of Dark magic and helps stabilize the remaining balance. But the way it's going to work is like mixing paint. Black and white make gray. Therefore, White magic is now mixed in with Black magic, offerening a different range of properties that can be used by magic-users.

Anyways, here's what's up:

Wisdom has three children, two sons and a daughter. Wouldn't it be interesting to have three books, each one told in the perspective of each child. So starting with the eldest, that would be the first book. Then the daughter, and then the youngest, who is the most mysterious of the three. THAT one I can't wait to get to because it's going to be soooo interesting in Koreken's POV.

I'm still working on the plot for it, but here's what I've got so far. Please feel free to comment on any of this because I don't really know how it's all going to work yet.

After Merlock is killed (dark magic guy), Wisdom dies and is brought back to life using the newly born soul of a young unicorn. What he doesn't realize is the unicorn is a dark female instead of the normal white one. This is because when the purification takes place, dark and light magic are mixed together. So now you get a combination of both magics.

The problem we start seeing afterwards is those who would normally use the Light (or in this case they call it White magic) are now starting to use Dark because it's available and much stronger. But it has different properties. Whereas Light draws from Nature's energy, Dark forces energy out of surrounding living things, ie. humans, plants, etc. So every time it's used this is what happens. There's no stored energy like the Light has.

A person's appearance also changes when they use Dark magic. The hair turns black and the eyes lose color or turn white. People are afraid of these people because they have the potential to take life without even realizing it. So when Wisdom realizes he can use Black magic, he has to be very careful how and where he uses it. The good news is, he can use both Light and Dark. So he can take energy from the land with the Dark, but then heal it with the Light. It's a balance. And he believes that by working together, Dark and Light can co-exist just as it does within his body.
This thought, however, fails when his youngest is born with the Dark One's appearance. Now Wisdom must work twice as hard to protect himself, his family, and find a way to help Dark Ones who are being hunted by his own kind. If they were to find out what he could do, they might think Koreken could do the same.

Special abilies:

Keith (first born): Ablino Lo-ans'rel (Healer) teenager. Shifting. Magic. Healing. Stubborn and very naive. Wants to be just like his father and do great things in life and be respected.

Gaily (second): Human. Kind-hearted and gentle like her mother. Strawberry hair. Takes after Wisdom's grandfather's side of the family. Magic seems to come to her with ease, depending on her emotion. She cannot heal, but she seems to have a way with Nature and animals.

Koreken (third): Half-breed. Dark One look-alike. No magical power. Stores energy and can use other people's powers by forcing his energy into their bodies. Can cause pain or ease it just by touch, or make the body go stiff until he touches them again to release them. Soft-spoken and quiet. If full of wisdom and meaningful things to say. Knows what to say at the right moment. Can "sense" someone's purpose and actions by reading their emotions. This can be accomplished from several miles away if he's already met the person.

It probably would not be so bad after the purification if people didn't remember the event (like they're supposed to). But something happens and they remember the dark magic. So that's a major drawback as well.

Anyways, let me know what you think. It's going to be chaotic, I'm sure. LOL

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Completed Book Cover for Elizabeth Stewart. Almost Unloved is the story of a young girl who was abandoned by her mother and raised by an aunt who didn't want her. This work of fiction is based upon the author's life when times were harsh and moving from location to location produced more problems than help.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I birthday present for my pen pal. Isn't he cute? This little guy grows to be the tribe Oracle. Actually, he’s already Oracle, and has to drink crazy potions to attune his “awareness” to the spirits. My friend has an entire background history in extortionate detail explaining traditions, races, and setting. It’s very interesting. Some of it’s based from real mythology.

For anyone’s who wants to check out my friend’s site, here it is:
Please check it out. Her writing is well worth a read!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So I'm doing these cute little images for a to-be author. He wrote a series of poems and short stories and has sent them off to a publisher. I'm crossing my fingers that they enjoy cute stories, because the greatest thing out of publishing is being on a shelf with other recognized artists and authors. That's where I'd like to be.

It's been a long haul, what with the novel, commissions, and doing my own art. But my name is starting to get recognized. Starting. Now... I didn't say people were falling head over heels yet. That would be wishful thinking. If that started happening, I'd quit my day job and do this full time. Every artists' dream, right?

So on to some good stuff. Here's an image I just finished for the book. Cute, huh?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Commissions I've been slaving over lately

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Image Update...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Updated image...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Image Update...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Image update...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Update on the bookcover - Due October 31st

Still a ways to go. I painted the face first because faces are the hardest part, especially if it's supposed to actually be someone. I think the left eye is a bit small, but otherwise it's fairly correct compared to the reference photo. I like how the hair is turning out. Poor little tyke. She needs a hug!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Projects & Commissions

Soooo.... I've accepted two book covers. One is due October 31st. The other will be sometime next year. I'm also illustrating a second children's e-book, designing a tattoo, a starcraft marine, waiting on another author to get with me for children's sketches, pending website commission, watercolor fantasy characters for a writer's group friend, and writing my own novel and illustrating my own characters while working a full time design job....

Remind me to breath once in a while, okay?

Oh, and I need to draw the outlines for the Book 'Em convention coming up in October as well. I'll be selling those. Needless to say, commission are going to be closed for a little while until this list goes down a bit.

This is a sketch for the latest book cover acceptance.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Illustrated Children's E-book Available!

Great news!
An ebook I illustrated has just come out!!! It's a very cute animal story about a young kangaroo who has lost her mother. The charcters are fluffy and adorable, so if you like fluffy cute stuff, look no further.

Here is the link ~ Enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sample Chapters

Wisdom ~ Book One
Written By Bonnie Watson
Copyright © 2008


Sounds of clanking chain echoed within the dungeon. Cloven hooves scraped desperately at the floor, unable to break metal shackles holding it down. White hair bristled along the neck in silent anticipation. An ear turned toward the sound of crackling fire, casting an orange glow along the mane and tail. Several strands tangled around a single ivory horn perched upon the forehead. She waited. A unicorn must always be patient.

Her nostrils flared at the smell of wood burning beneath a nearby cauldron. Besides that, only a few bare tables dotted the dark room. In one corner a shelf displayed a number of multicolored bottles and vials filled with liquids. One such vial had overturned, and a constant drip of purple liquid hit the floor.

The scent of human mingled with burning logs, and she turned her head to a set of winding stairs. It was difficult to see in the darkness, and when the figure finally came into view, his face still hid under a black hood.

“You know me,” the man said. “I saved you from a hunter once, and in return you offered me a favor. Now I come before you to obtain that which was promised.”

He reached up and slid the hood back around his shoulders. Long sideburns grew down his face to a small beard, lightly tinted with grays woven in between brown. It matched the color of his hair, which stuck up in static waves.

The unicorn huffed and shook her mane. She remembered. The dark-eyed alchemist had appeared as if expecting a hunter that day. That was when she had been a mere foal — she and her sister.

Blue eyes watched his every move, even when he had finished ladling the bubbling liquid from the cauldron and placed it before her in a bowl. Her thoughts reached out to him, gentle and sweet, her kind words filled with wisdom. Echoing in and out of his subconscious, the alchemist remained still and allowed his mind to link with hers.

It is not wise for a non magic-user to take power and expect to master it in one evening. You are an alchemist and well-known illusionist. Do you not wish to further your studies? If knowledge is what you desire, then mine is more than enough.

“It’s true. A single one of your kind could answer anything I want to know,” he whispered. “And yet you still have the ability to withhold any amount of knowledge you wish. With the aid of magic I could learn at a much faster rate, be more accurate with my potion making, and more! Now answer this, can illusion do that?”

He pointed to the bowl. “This is the one favor I ask. Likely, it’ll be the only one I’ll ever see. Grant me this, and I swear to you I will use it in good faith.”

Good faith… The unicorn dipped her head. Greed has little to do with faith.

Slightly red-faced, the alchemist swallowed his impatience and waited while the unicorn began to drink. His heart beat faster. So many years, so many nights mixing and pouring, and now the moment he had been waiting for was finally here, the ability to coax magic from another body into his own. No longer would he be a mere illusionist, but a full-fledged magic-user.

He waited. When the last drop disappeared, he reached for the horn, its knowledge and power so greatly desired.
Suddenly, the unicorn’s body flared a bright white, then dimmed as though consumed in darkness. Panic-stricken, the animal reared so quickly that a shackle broke. Her hooves pawed the air, filling it with shrieks and high-pitched squeals. The to-be mage jumped back as the animal tumbled down. It landed hard while the potion spread, coursing through blood vessels, seeping into muscles, poisoning everything it touched until finally reaching the horn. Blue eyes polluted to a lackluster gray, then black. The pupil disappeared, only to be replaced by a flame of crimson that flooded both eyes at once. Its soft coat spoiled and rotted, charring all the way to its cloven hooves. The horn, caught in a whirl of darkness, lost all shimmer as it absorbed the poison in attempt to purify itself. Teeth elongated to fangs. Its whinnies stopped. Foul screeching and growls began. The transformation nearly complete, it began to rise, scraping great welts into the stone floor.

Frightened beyond reason, the alchemist sought the handle of an axe that lay unused in a dusty corner. He raced against time, hoping to strike before it could fully stand. Still dazed, the creature made no attempt to dodge the blow that came hurtling toward its horn.

The blade had been dull for years, but in his haste he had not noticed. When the axe hit, the horn split from forehead to tip. The unicorn thrashed its head up, catching its horn on the man’s clothing and flinging him across the room. He landed on top of a table, which instantly collapsed. Desperately, he fought to regain his footing and relocate the axe.

The snapping of chain warned the alchemist that another shackle had broken. He looked up. The creature’s horn crackled as though electrified. Fangs flashed in the firelight, tainted crimson from piercing its own lips. Eyes radiated an unnatural light as it slowly turned its head toward the human.

The alchemist made a quick scan of the area and discovered the axe on the opposite side of the room. He glanced between object and creature, and kept a table between himself and the beast at all times.

A bolt of lightning flew from the horn. The alchemist dived under a table to avoid a second. The sound of hoofs scraped over the floor before a horn pierced through the wood, narrowly missing its target. With a toss of its head, the furniture was thrown onto some far shelves. Flasks and bottles crashed to the floor. Potions mixed together and exploded into a whoosh of wind that threw back the man’s robes and caught the mane and tail of the unicorn. Fire started along the back wall, spreading quickly.

As the liquids flooded over the floor, flames followed in its path. Smoke poured into the air, smothering the human as he staggered to where the axe lay. He had just enough time to pick it up when a hoof slammed into his backside. The alchemist found himself skidding on his stomach toward the flames, saved only by an untouched furnishing. Both dizzy and exhausted, he rolled away and swung at the looming shadow hovering above.

Teeth sought the taste of his flesh. He raised the ax again, but the lowered horn caught and held it. The smell of decay huffed with each breath. Fangs flashed in the flickering firelight. A wild kick to the neck sent it rearing. When the horn lowered again, he slammed the blade across it with a thunderous crack! A piece snapped from the tip and clattered to the floor.

It screamed, writhing in agony until its body collapsed in a heap of rotting flesh. A thrashing foot upset the bubbling cauldron, and its contents spilled over the fire, though it was too late to save itself from the quick spreading flames that leapt upon its corpse. In moments it was over, with the cauldron smothering the remaining ashes.

Still shaking, the alchemist sat up and wiped his face. By his side lay the fragment of horn.

“So much for the favor.” He sighed and lifted it. A sharp edge bit into his palm. Blood mingled with still-active magic, and a bolt flared around his hand, extending to his entire body. Unable to let go, he held it aloft, fighting to contain the power, to understand its sheer essence. Crimson flooded his eyes, then slowly receded, a mere glimmer now and then in the darkness.

“At last!” he rasped, his voice not his own. “The power of knowledge…is mine! Out of this triumph I shall create a new type of magic!” He held the treasure in front of himself. “I give this newfound magic a title—one that all shall come to recognize in time—so shall it be called after its founder of Darkness…Jen’Oyx!”



A voice came to his mind. It was not the first time, though he knew who it was.

A ladybug captured the boy’s attention, its polished red and black shell reflecting the afternoon sun. After a few moments, the bug spread its wings and lazily drifted into the afternoon sunlight. Keith shielded his eyes, letting his mind imagine the bug’s journey. He thought of distant lands and people, what they might say and do, and where they might lead him. The vision seemed so real. He could almost hear them calling his name.


His mother’s voice interrupted the daydream, soothing like the nearby stream running through the woods. It was not unusual for her mind to link with his, and he never questioned how it was done.

Without a second thought, he turned for home, white curls bobbing as he ran. It was not far, just through the thicket and down the path he had traveled so many times the grass no longer grew. Even before he had cleared the trees he could see his mother waiting on the threshold of their two-story cottage. She was every bit the opposite compared to her son, he being fare-skinned with deep blue eyes while she retained long dark hair that cascaded over one shoulder. Her smile was as warm as the color of her eyes when she saw him coming, and Keith could smell fresh cut herbs on her clothing when he jumped into her arms.

“Guess who’s waiting for you?” she asked.

“He’s come back?” Keith beamed, garden scents forgotten as he rushed inside. He entered the living area as his father was hanging his cloak. When the large man heard his son, he turned to scoop him into his burly arms. Keith hugged tight, his cheek pressed against his father’s clean-shaven face.

“My, my!” his father mused. He gently set his son down. “I believe you’ve grown a bit, haven’t you?”

A servant entered the room with a tray and set it on the table by the fireplace.

“Thank you, Ullyaemus,” Keith’s father greeted.

“It’s good to have you back safe and sound,” the servant replied.

Keith watched the servant pour the afternoon tea. His mother soon joined them and savored a kiss from her husband.

“Look what I’ve brought you, Greverlend.” Her husband picked up a cup and handed it to her.

“Peppermint?” she asked. “Oh, it’s been so long!”

The servant chuckled. “We don’t often get many luxuries, but it’s a treat when we do.”

“Speaking of which.” The large man patted his son’s head, then pulled out a small object from an inner pocket. “I believe someone’s turning ten?”

Keith’s eyes grew wide in excitement.

“What is it?” He turned the object over. Several round reeds of bamboo joined together with opened holes on each end. Down the sides were four more. Bits of colored thread wove delicately around the edges, crossing at an angle to the opposite side.

“It’s a pan flute,” his father said. “You blow on this end.” He pointed to tip of the instrument. “Hold your fingers over these to create different tunes. Go on. Let’s see what it sounds like!”

Keith placed his lips lightly upon the opening and blew. A faint whistle coursed through the reeds, and he stopped to look where he had placed his fingers. Lifting one at a time, he piped his mother’s lullaby.

“First time he’s ever seen one and he gets it on the first try!” Ullyaemus mused.

“I love it!” Keith admired the small gift. He cradled it against his breast as though it were made of gold. To him, it was priceless.

“It does make a good sound,” his mother said. “Where did you find it, Jonathan?”

“From a merchant in Lexington,” replied her husband as he poured himself some tea. “First week of the month brings new business. Yesterday, they were selling all kinds.”

“I want to try some more.” Keith slid off his seat and bounded from the table.

“Wait ‘til tomorrow.” Greverlend winked at Jonathan as she watched her son scamper around the corner. They could still hear his pipings as he went. “Do you really think he’s old enough to have one?”

Jonathan chuckled while stirring his drink.

“If he’s old enough to go into the forest by himself, then he’s old enough to have a sword. Besides, with all the work I’ve been trying to find, I haven’t had the time to be with you or him.” His hazel eyes watered at the thought of leaving again. “I want to watch him grow, and this would be the perfect opportunity to teach him.” He lowered his voice. “He won’t stay a child forever, you know. Soon enough, you’ll have to teach him what he is. You know that, don’t you? You’ll have to show him one of these days.”

He took a sip. “That reminds me. I have to pay a visit to my brother tomorrow. There’s just not enough work being offered, even if the pay is good. It never lasts, and then I’m out of work again.”

Greverlend’s smile waned. She glanced out the window, her gaze sharper than her husband’s. There, just faintly through the vast stretch of forest, a castle loomed. Her attention wandered to her son upstairs piping away on his flute.

“Jonathan,” she placed a hand on his arm, “I thought you said you wouldn’t go there anymore. We can make do with what we already have.”

Her husband reassured her with a smile.

“I know he’s completely useless, but we could really use the extra money. Keith will need it one day. He’ll want to travel and see things, better his education. And I want to make sure he’s well prepared when he does.”
Greverlend was skeptical, but said nothing and tasted her tea. She relished the peppermint flavor on her tongue before swallowing, the best it had ever been.

How odd, she thought when the liquid seemed to catch fire down her throat, and it took all her strength just to keep it from spewing back up. She stared at her drink, feeling the blood drain from her face. Perhaps Ullyaemus had mixed the spices and chosen the wrong one, but if so, then why did she get the feeling that something was terribly wrong?
“Are you all right?” Jonathan asked, concerned for her sudden paleness. “I’m sorry if I seemed hasty. I just want to—”
“—No, I’m fine,” she choked, averting her watered gaze toward the stairs She rose quickly, and a wave of nausea washed over her.

“Would you like me to help you up?” Ullyaemus asked. “You’re awfully pale.”

Greverlend shook her head as she started slowly up the steps. She tried to remain calm, to tell herself that the liquid had just gone down too fast. Yet while the burning had thankfully stopped in her throat, now it was in her stomach. Her mind tried to link to her family, but it became all too clear she was beyond concentration. All she could think about was her young son.

He doesn’t know! Tears streamed down her cheeks. How could I have waited so long without telling him? She could hear his music from the top of the stairs. He was so close, and yet she felt so far away.


Keith stood out on the upstairs balcony admiring his pan flute. He tested a couple of notes, stopping to listen as they faded into the surrounding forest. A small bird alighted on the balcony wall. Curious, Keith piped a single note. The bird mimicked. He played two more. The bird copied those too. Amazed, Keith began playing his mother’s lullaby when the bird suddenly flew away. It was not until he heard footsteps that he turned to find his mother leaning against the doorframe, her face ashen.

“You play beautifully,” she whispered.

He immediately came to her side and wrapped his arms around her. Keith had never seen her look like this.

Kneeling by his side, Greverlend whispered, “I had wanted to tell you…you’re not like the rest of us…” A cough wracked through her body.

“What do you mean?” White eyebrows lowered in confusion.

His mother tried to catch her breath, but every other word seemed to get fainter and fainter.

“I had wanted to tell you…” At this point, Keith was straining to comprehend her rasping whispers. “One day you will find out what you are, and where you came from...”

She removed her necklace and slipped it around neck, then slowly rose, unable to speak anymore. As she left her son’s room and entered the hallway, her body teetered to one side. Her son followed, and she glanced back to form the words, “I love you,” from silent lips.

The small boy watched his mother stumble into her bedroom. It was not long before no sound was heard at all, not even the rustle of her sewing basket that was kept close to the bed.

His father found him sitting on the edge of bed in his room staring at the floor. He never uttered a word, the haunting message of his mother repeating in his mind. Something was wrong. He could sense it, and when he looked into his father’s tear-filled eyes he knew what the answer was.

“One day you’ll find out what you are, and where you came from…”

His mother was dead.


“Are you sure the poison will make it look natural?” the voice rasped. The room was engulfed in darkness, save for a few rays from cracks in the wall.

There was a scrape against the floor. A door opened, and a male figure appeared from the shadows. When he spoke, his voice was crisp with assuredness.

“Of course it will! Their slave used peppermint. Peppermint hides anything.”

“My brother will suspect. After all, the peppermint did come from me.”

“And when he comes, I’ll take care of it.” He pulled out a dagger and admired its reflective surface. A streak of gold ran down the center. “One down, two to go.”

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Prints for Sale

Discounted prints available for $1 and up, depending on print size. Frames are optional. Just click on the print select size and get pricing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oh Man, I'm Booked!

I feel more than accomplished right now, as I have art coming out the wazzoo! I'm very pleased at the many commissions for 2008. Thanks to all!
My schedule right now goes as thus:
1) Jill-a-roo, a children's book based on animal characters ~ Digital2) Faerie, Goddess, & Mage ~ Watercolor3) Isktyr & Xenohpon ~ Traditional Drawing, Colored Digitally

Editing part 2 of 3. I'm about halfway through.

Okay. Thought I'd post some cool updates on awesome gaming. Currently, I'm toying with Assassin's Creed. Now I'm a big fan of worlds where you can go anywhere without staying to the path. This is one of those, plus you get to fight on horse back, climb buildings, while following this crazy storyline. Just be prepared for a beginning of LOTS of talking. Pay attention to what they're saying though. It's a bit more realistic than most games. Play saves automatically after missions.

Like a game where you can save anytime anywhere? Play Oblivion!!! Awesome graphics. Cool quests. Yes, you can ride horses, but you have to dismount to fight. Lame. But the game is well worth a look at.

Okay, do you like dynamic views with somes nice action poses that are easy to manipulate? Play either Eragon (yes you get to ride the dragon!) or play The Golden Compass. Either are pretty decent.

Looking for a game where all you do is fight hordes of armies to unlock characters and upgrade weapons? Play Ninety-nine Knights! Tons of action there!