African American Month: Poetry Contest

We are eight days into Black History Month! In honor of the contributions, people of African descent have given the African American Poetry Contest was born.

This year submissions are due March 1, 2020, and winners will be announced live March 14, 2020, from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention!

Submission Requirements:

All poetry must contain some element of African/African American/Black history.

All entries must be original content.

You may provide images, but it’s not a requirement.

All entries must be emailed to aundrielwashington@gmail.com by March 1, 2020 (midnight).

Types of Poetry Accepted:
Free Verse
Blank Verse
Rhymed
Narrative
Epics
Pastoral
Elegies
Ode
Limerick
Lyric
Soliloquy
Villanelle
Imagery

Get Ready. Get Set. Go!

A.H.

Creative Tuesday: Short Story Excerpt:

Image By Pingtree

Dawnies I hope all is well. Recently, I began writing a series of short stories. Enjoy!

Death! Such a pungent odor I can’t escape. The Crems can no longer keep up with the high body counts. For every cremated corpse, ten more are waiting for its turn on the pile. My team and I are working as hard and fast as we can, but there are many of them and a hand full of us.

Blinded by the sights beyond the wall, but not deaf to it are the screams of men and women on the front line of battle. It is the year 2099, and the world has been at war for the past 50 years.

“Dr. Una, this man is losing a lot of blood!” Nurse Chay yells as she connects him to a life pod.

Within seconds the pod flat lines.

“There is nothing more that can be done for him.” I whisper.

Stay tuned as the story continues. If you have comments, please post them. Don’t forget to follow me on Wattpad for Dawn of The Dragon updates in chapter order.

https://www.wattpad.com/user/AundrielWashington

Become an official Dawnie by subscribing to emails. While supplies last, you will recieve a free Dawn of The Dragon t-shirt and a free e-copy of Palera Dawn. Subscribers will receive Dawn of The Dragon, author updates, realm and character histories. You will also receive a first look into book three in The Dawn Series. Sign up today!

Follow above link then click contact to join.

A Blast From The Past

Image By: rebloggy

“There can be no good without evil, no love without hate, life needs death.” If you are an 80’s fantasy fan girl or guy, you have guessed this quote is from Ridley Scott’s 1985 movie Legend.

Legend stared Tom Cruise and Mia Sara which follows Mia’s character, Lilly. Lilly unknowingly puts unicorns (protectors of the light) in danger when she touches them. How does she find them? Well, Tom Cruise’s character, Jack is in love with Lilly, so he brings her deep into the forest where they dwell. This movie did not receive the best reviews from critics. One critic calls it an uneven plot with boring comic relief.

I was very young when the movie was released, so I loved it. The Darkness, Tim Curry, who in my opinion was amazing, didn’t scare me. I fell in love with the world, make-up, and settings. This film had an impact on me as a young child. My imagination grew wilder and wilder as I would draw myself in the forest with unicorns though black girls had not been seen in the ’80s with unicorns.

This past weekend my 16 years old and I watched Legend. It was her first time viewing the film. She enjoyed the world and wish there had been some vocals in the film. My daughter gave the movie three stars for special effects and great make-up. Who were her favorite characters? You guessed it, the dang unicorns!

Creative Tuesday: Dawn of The Dragon Excerpt

Dawnies,

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Dawn of The Dragon. Let me know what you think in the comments. As followers of mine, you have VIP status when it comes to drafts and revisions. Your suggestions and comments may make its way into the final version to be published. All updates, except the final developmental/copy edits, will be added to Wattpad.

https://www.wattpad.com/user/AundrielWashington

“A blue dragon is standing in my neighbor’s front yard! Live, I hope you are getting this. THERE IS A BLUE DRAGON IN THE F’ing YARD!” Screams the guy next door.

Helicopters maneuvering up and down back and forth hovering above my home. The Army National Guards have now been joined by Marines, FBI, and the NSA evacuating homes and have surrounded at least a three-mile radius.

“You may not want to raise your voice toward me.” I suggest to the chief.

“Call them off.” I order.

“I have orders. And those orders are to take you and this thing into custody.” He yells through the chaos.

Maintaining the scene proved problematic for them as people were running through the streets with their cellphone cameras. The military warned the media circus, but it was too late. By now, America, and the entire world were fixed on Rocheblave Street in New Orleans.

Staring into the eyes of my dragon, I knew we had to make a move, and get Xavgon out of here. It would be easy for us to fly away, but what about Zaron? I could not just abandon him. Deep in my thoughts, Xavgon speaks.

“Do you trust me? He asks.

“Of course.” I respond.

Beware of the Shadows: Take Care of Yourself

image by: Lone Wolf.com

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Martin Luther King

Dawnies, I hope the first two weeks of the new year has been good to everyone here in the blogosphere. Due to some recent events in my own life, I am deciding to bring up the topic of shadows and how darkness tries to defeat us. Martin Luther King knew only light and good can destroy darkness and evil.

They are all around us and at times like a sicking plague leading us to the brink of decimation. What are they? Shadows. It can take many forms. Mental illness, loss, grief, betrayal, just to name a few. Though at some point we all surcome to the shadows because we are human; however, we mustn’t allow them to hook us into eternal darkness. What can we do? The answer is not so simple, but there are prescriptions we can try.

Therapy:

We are all familiar with therapy though I know it is not always ideal for everyone for many reasons. I am going to stick to the benefits of therapy. One benefit is that a therapist can give you problem-solving techniques. For example, CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) helps you set goals to change your behavior, track them, and measure the results. Talking therapy allows you to talk to a therapist about specific problems. He or she can then give you ways to help manage your emotions, dissect your problems, and perhaps help you find your purpose.

Holiday:

When is the last time you have spent some time with just you away from the hustle and bustle of life? We all need time to unwind and relax, but sometimes a bit more is needed. You may need to take a real break from life. That may mean checking into a hotel or planning to visit a friend you may not have seen in a long time. Recently, I went to a hotel for four days alone. I took off work, left the kids, my husband, and all my duties for four days. I took that time to reflect and set goals for moving forward. The only contact I had with anyone was to let them know I made it safely. That was it. It was time for ME.

Now, your holiday may not be four days away. It maybe you going to your favorite bookstore or museum. Your holiday may mean a manicure, pedicure, massage, or spa day. Whatever it means for you, take it. Some people may not understand, but your holiday may prevent your shadows from bringing you into the depths of flame. Whatever it takes to free your mind, you must do it for you.

Spiritual Delivery:

Though I am, not all of us are religious, but spirituality is very important. For those of us who believe in God, turn to him. Pray for the things you stand in need of. Put your trust and faith in what is not seen. Go to church and try as best you can to follow after the teachings of your faith.

For those of us who believe in a higher power in any shape, form, or fashion, allow it to guide you. Meditate often. Think happy thoughts (light). Focus on seeing the good even in the time of trials. Clear negativity (that may sometimes mean negative people).

Take care Dawnies, until next time. I hope these few prescriptions can drive back some of the shadows that plague us. Self-awareness is key. Though we cannot control life and what it throws at us, we can do our best to control what we think, do, see, feel, and believe.

Updates:

My contacts are now under one umbrella by clicking on the link below.

https://linktr.ee/aundrielwashington

Dawn of the Dragon is now in its first round of revision after developmental editing. Those updates have not made it to Wattpad as of yet. Some updates will only be found in the final, published copy. For additional chapter updates, you will need to follow me on Wattpad.

I am still building my street team to review Dawn of The Dragon. If you are interested, leave a comment.

I am attending The Atlanta Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo at North DeKalb Mall March 14, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Come out and support myself and the many other authors and artist attending.

First Blog of 2020: Dawn of The Dragon Excerpt

Image By: Wallup.net

Dawnies,

I am super excited to announce my manuscript is due for developmental and line editing next Friday. As you may have guessed it, I am typing my fingers off! I hope you enjoy this excerpt. Please comments (suggestions and questions).

Covered with the bodies of innocents are the once famous streets of New Orleans. Without a fighting chance, a monster had its way with them. Hands trembling, I climb over, reaching the street where it all began. Looking up, I see him. The monster, and next to him a female with an obscured face. Both turned to a black dragon with lavender eyes.

My hands begin to burn as he lifts from the top of the dome coming for me. It is as my feet are dug into the ground or a spell befalls me. Landing, he takes my hand towards his mouth and blows. They become an inferno I cannot control. I scream, incinerating my beloved city.

Opening my eyes, I see Jessup leaping as my hands are stretch forth and lit ablaze.

“Kalera!” He calls out.

“Kalera wake up!” He screams.

My body is awake but my mind sees him. “Destroy him.” I think. Then without warning Xavgon’s long neck protrudes into the tent and he blows a frost over me.

Startled, my conscious mind resurfaces and I fall to the floor. Xavgon wants to wake the others, but I beg him not to.

“Xavgon, she will be alright. I will look after her. Please.” Jessup assures.

He lifts me from the floor as Xavgon pulls away.

“Are you alright?” He asks.

Staring at the ground, “I could have killed you.”

“But you didn’t.” He answers. 

“Xavgon is confused for I was able to block him from my thoughts. Our bond is unbreakable unless we both allow. I don’t remember anything.” I say.

“Should I wake Hiddard, Donegal, or Ton?” He asks.

“No. I would rather them not know about this.” I respond.

“You have my confidence.” He replies.

“Thank you.” I respond.

Walking to the make ship bed, we both sit. I stare at the group as he carefully brings his hand to my face.

“My gifts are yours. I was born to serve you. Let me serve you.” He says.

“You will all have your chance.” I reply.

“Now.” I speak to Xavgon.

“Xavgon is waking the others as I am calm. Join him.

I rise grabbing my garments as Jessup looks upon me then walks away.

Exiting the tent, I find everyone standing in the ruins of Bram. As I approach, they surround me in a circle kneeling. Ordering them to rise, I look upon them. Walking to Molly and Donegal and embracing them for their loss.

I look to Hiddard who has been inconsolable since Molly and Donegal arrived. Not a tear in his eyes as he holds Molly’s hand. Donegal eyes his girls as Xavgon watches over them.

“This path we are on has become more treacherous and is no place for the children.” I announce.

Maliki steps forward.

“My Queen, There are a few scattered Kale clans beyond our borders. Maybe we can take them there.” He says.

“Maybe you should take them there.” I counter.

“I need to be with you.” He says.

“You are wise, strong, and brave. Come Maliki.” I say.

I whisper in his ear.

“Donegal, Ton, will you allow him to bring the girls to safety?” I ask.

“I didn’t think I would see them nor my son ever again. But because of you, they are both safe. Yes.” He answers.

“No objection here as long as I am with you, my Queen.” Ton chimes in.

“My friends, Ager will do whatever he believes will give him some form of control over the realm including serving Boilos who we now know wants more than the eggs. So it is as Donegal ask me moons ago. We must take them to Mount Mahar. What I ask of you, may cost you your life. So I offer all of you a choice. You may take a sack of gold and head south if you choose, or risk your life serving the realm and your Queen.” I announce.

Everyone swore fealty to me.

“Then it is settled. We head south” I respond.

Through the ashes of the Dark Forest, we take to the Shalaman road to Port Cye.

After one moon, we arrive to find it almost abandoned save one ship that had just docked. A single man exits and approaches us.

“What has happened here?” He asks.

“Death Claws.” I answer.

“Ha. Ha. Ha. You must have been smoking Dred Weeds.” He laughs.

“I am afraid I am not familiar with such weeds, Sir.” I reply.

“Your face is quite serious my lady.” He says.

Molly and Ton approach.

“She is no lady. You stand in the presence of Kalera, Palera Dawn reborn.” Molly says.

“Ha. Ha. Ha. A Dawn. I think I believe in the Death Claws.” He says as Xavgon barrows down upon him.

Roaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrr!”

“Do you believe her now?” Ask Molly.

His face sinks as he is taking in the sight.

“I have no time for you to feel. Can you sail us south?” I ask.

“South.” He responds.

“Yes. To Grayler.” I reply.

“Grayler?” He asks.

“I would not go back south for a sack of gold.” He replies.

“How about two sacks.” Donegal interrupts.

“Tomas Donegal.” He announces.

“Crabs!” Donegal replies.

“It is so good to see you alive. My father waited for you, but he never told me why.” He says.

“Where is Krake now?” Donegal asks.

“He is dead.” He says.

“I am sorry Crabs.” Donegal says.

“He died a free man and that’s all he wanted.” He says.

“This is the one true Queen. We have gold and two extra meres.” Donegal pleas.

“What are we waiting for?” He asks.

We board the ship.

“She isn’t much. But she has survived many calamities. She will get us to Grayler.” He announces.

“Well dam!” He says when he looks upon Kooloan.

“This light keeps getting better and better.” He laughs.

Kooloan and Jessup try coaching the meres onto the ship but they refuse.

Neigh!”

Neigh!”

They sound as they try turning back.

I move towards them.

Shhh.”

Shhh.”

Closing my eyes, I run my hands under their chest and they calm.

Eying Jessup.

“All they needed was a mother’s touch.” I say.

I look to Xavgon, giving him permission to stay above the clouds. He would rather me fly, but I cannot risk us both being open to attacks. Kooloan, Ton, Donegal, and Jessup lifts the anchor while Crabs raises the sails. 

Two lights had come and gone and yet the Green Sea remains calm. Xavgon dives below the clouds into the water like a bullet.

“How many of those creatures are you going to eat my child?” I ask.

“Just a few more.” He responds.

Smiling at him, I think about how lonely this world must be for him. He has me, but none of his kind. “Do not worry for me, mother.” He says. And he is right, I should not, but as any mother would, I worry.

As he soars beyond, I see Crabs lower mandible drop.

“He takes some getting used to.” I say.

“Yes. He is incredible to see.” He says.

“Thank you.” I reply.

“For?” He asks.

“For your ship.”

“Well, you know your dragon kind of had something to do with it.” He smiles.

“Your father was funny when he could afford to be.” I reply.

“You knew my father? He never mentioned you.” He questions.

“Well, this is going to sound a bit odd, but …” I say.

“After what I have seen, I am sure I can handle it.” He interrupts.

“I met Krake, your father, in another dimension of time and space. It was Zaylen, but different. In that Realm, I met your father during a desperate time. He pledged his army and his sword to a young woman who had no idea who she was. As first in command in my council, he helped me form an alliance with Micah. Without him, I would have never have met Tomas Donegal, nor had the tactical advantage needed to best Ager.” I said.

“This man sounds much like my father.” He says.

“I…”

“Boom!”

Lighting erupts as the sky opens and the waves crash against the ship like stones. “Man overboard!” I scream. It happened so fast, but Crabs is gone. Donegal and Kooloan try running over as they are forced against the walls and wooden planks. Closing my eyes, and seeing a light, I whisper, “Shenan.”

“I see him. There.” I whisper.

Xavgon’s dives sending a wave over the ship as his massive claws scoop Crabs. Hiddard and Molly make for the anchor as they see a magnificent sight. The waves are frozen in time.

“I am not sure how long, I can hold.” I announce.

Help stands behind me as Jessup sends bolts into to me powering my shield.

Roarrrr!

Instantly, from the sea, six gigantic black creatures with long tentacles, white eyes, and serrated teeth appear. With Xavgon at the stern and the creatures looping knots around the hull, they pull. He blew a breath moving forward as they steadied and pulled until the sun illuminates the crystal, clear, waters.

I turn my palms inward then outward raising the water several feet into the air then back from whence it came. After lowering my arms, I immediately sink to the floor. Jessup lifts me as I look into his eyes.

You are what Xavgon said you are, special.” I whisper as I close my eyes to the realm, while I rest his arms. 

Excerpt: Dawn of The Dragon

I do not own the rights to this image.

Dawnies, it has been a minute since I have added an excerpt, so here you go!

Maliki invited me and my fellowship to rest before continuing to the Port Cye. I accepted his favor as the guards and meres were weary. 

Genna walks upon us as we stand with his head lowered into my hands. My eyes closed as his blue light surrounds me.

“Excuse me, Your Grace. Your council is meeting now.” She said.

Entering the tent, I see them studying two maps. Hiddard explains that both have different routes to Mason if that’s where we are still going. With all my heart, it is where I believe we should. Men, women, and children fight to the death as slaves. They serve their masters making massive coins for their lives. 

“I mean no disrespect your grace, but we can’t just disembark at the harbor. And what of your dragon? We can’t just hide him. He is not exactly small.” Ton says.

“Nor shall he be hidden. The people need to see that dragons not just were real, but are.” I say.

“Everyone here has heard the stories of old. The realm has heard the stories. You are his weakness. If something happens to you Xavgon will be useless. Ager knows this. The minute you go flying over the harbor, arrows will be aimed at your head.” Ton says.

But I know the only way to show power is to be seen with my dragon. I will need to walk through fire and free the people in order for them to believe in me. No longer am I a story on ancient scrolls in ancient books. I am as real as my dragon who is the blood of my blood. I am the Revellies of old. But I must be more than that. I must be their strength. 

Hiddard has a goal, though it is short term, for his loyalty his goal is mine, for I will kill two birds with one stone. Looking in Hiddard’s eyes I can see he is perplexed.

“Are you confused about what you want?” I ask Hiddard.

“Your Grace, I want you to help me find Sundo, Celest, and perhaps Molly. But there is a greater goal here. That goal is to what is best for the realm. Right now what is best for the realm is have its true queen on the glass throne.” He replies.

Staring at the ground, I know Hiddard is right. Ager is powerful. He has gold, magic, guardians of the keys, and his forcers are the most powerful army in the realm. If I am going to best Ager, I will need at least an army. Though I am the true heir to the throne by decedent right, this is a game of men. It has been since the last Dawn fell.

Maliki pulls from a chest another map. This map looks like the others save one difference. The land of Taree. “What is this place?” I ask.

“It is a scared land owned my no ruler in this realm nor the next. The land of trials.” He says.

“The land of trials is a myth, Maliki.” Ton interrupts.

“No, I have been there. It is very real.” He responds. 

With Xavgon you can mine the gold there then you will enough to buy any army.” He responds.

“Our queen is to take your word that this place is real. Why haven’t you and your kind taken the land and mind the gold? Ton yells.

“We do not have a flame hot enough to do so.” He responds.

“Men. I will ponder your words and take it under advisement. For now, make final preparations as I go to speak with Shelleeann. Ton you should come with me. Your sisters would love to see you after the last moon I am sure.”

Ton follows without a word. Xavgon had already reached them. Both girls were playing with him. It was strange to see him so engaged with children as Shelleeanna looks on.

“Your Grace, your dragon is kind.” Shelleeanna speaks.

“He is.” I reply.

Seeing the joy in their eyes fills me with grace. Even if it is only for a short time. I beckon for Ton to walk over as I turn to Shelleeanna.

“I have not had this discussion with Ton as of yet, but as dangerous as this forest is, the unknown is more threatening. You have had a great loss that we can’t comprehend. And strong as you are, you are still a mother. Malaki will allow you and the children to remain here under the protection of his clan.” I informed her.

Ton turns to her.

 “I know we don’t see eye to eye, but you are the mother of my little sisters whom I love very much. Protecting them is my first priority. And I am so sorry for the loss of Praya. I do not know what I could have done differently, but hope one day you can forgive me. Remain here with the Kale for your daughters.” He said.

She moves closer to Ton, closer than she has ever been. Raising her hand to his head, she runs her fingers between his hairs.

“You look like your father. The son I could never give him. Most of my anger was at myself. You have been valuable to this family in more ways than you know.” She speaks.

Turning to me, she speaks. “I have no protest. We shall remain here. I will speak to the girls at once.” She says.

“Good. No outside communication. We cannot risk an interception by those loyal to Ager.” I said.

“As you wish, my Queen.” She replies.

“Mother!” Xavgon alarms.

“I feel it to.” I reply.

The branches of trees are set ablaze.

I do not own the rights to this image.

Xavgon turns towards the sky sending out a force of frost air as a shield. 

“Mother I am not 100%. I do not know how long I can hold.” He alarms.

“Hold as long as you can.” I announce. 

“My Queen, you must leave.” Ton commands.

“I will not abandon you.” I reply.

Malaki and Kooloan make their way over.

They assure me Taree is real and I should take the eggs and go. As we speak, Xavgon begins to lose strength. I can feel him falling back.

“We will do what we can here. You need a Kale. I cannot leave my clan to fight and die alone. Take Kooloan for the camp has been breached.” He commands.

“Father.” Kooloan says.

“Do what you must my son.” He says.

Malaki turns to me.

“Look inside.” He says.

The eggs.

“Your children. Our legacy. Maybe one day I can write of the one who saves us all.” He says.

“I cannot leave the children.” I say.

Xavgon lowers his wing.

“Mother, we must go!”

Shelleeanna runs to Ton.

“They need you, your queen needs you. Go! Take care of my girls.” She commands.

Ton, Kooloan, and the children board Xavgon’s wing with me behind them. Kooloan grabs a space between Xavgon’s horns. Ton wraps the girls in his pelt. Xavgon turns his head and takes the case with the eggs into his mouth.

He whispers and begins to run. Gravity tries to hold him as he has never carried more than me. But there he gets. As he soars, I look down at the camp to see Enforcers running through. There were dead wild dogs and Kales. As I focused. I saw him. It was Jessup. Just then one of his men turns a large bolt thrower towards us. I cry out to Xavgon, but he has already seen it.

The bastard releases it. With a swift maneuver to his side, the arrow misses us barely. One of the girls slips as Kooloan holds on with his hooves and grabs her as Ton tries preventing the other from falling. They balanced as Ton had hold of the children again. After a series of ups downs lefts and rights Xavgon disappears into the clouds.

He is high as possible before beginning to descend. After much cloud cover, we can see the ground again. As I bring my eyes into focus, I can see clearly the man and a white dog.

“Mother, it is Rome.” Xavgon alarms.

“We must land. They have not reached the edge of the forest.” I say.

“You don’t know that. It could be a trap.” Ton responds.

“I’m not leaving my dog.” I respond.

Before long we are closer to the ground. Xavgon hovers over to scan the area. He senses nothing so he lands. 

I quickly disembark, running towards the man. I reach him and the dog begins to growl. I lock eyes with his as he moves in closer. He sniffs me and I am perfectly still. Then, without warning, he licks me. He knows me.

“Yes boy,” I whisper.

Ton runs over to us.

The man was wounded so I turn him over to see it is Hiddard.

“He has lost a lot of blood but he is breathing,” Ton says.

Ton lifts him and we move as fast as we can to Xavgon.

“Xavgon can you hold the weight?” I ask.

He lowers his head down then up as Ton boards him. Rome looks at me and tilts his head to one side then the next. After all, he was at least 100 pounds larger, but still a big baby. I coach him unto Xavgon. The funny thing is he has his wits about him. He grabs on with teeth as we ascend to the beyond.

“Taree, Kooloan. Which direction?”

“It as north as the edge of the world.” He responds.

“Will that not put us in danger of Boilos.” I ask.

“It is a risk.” He responds.

I knew it was more than a risk. Boilos would sense us and for what? Gold. Maybe, but it was a need. We do things at times for reasons unseen, but I can see it. Ager is powerful and he has powerful friends so I can’t fear what I can’t control. 

So we soar north to the uppermost northern lands. Lands untamed and unclaimed until we see two massive falls. Stunning is the only word I can muster. Truly there must be magic here as the temperatures were frigid.

“The closer to water the better.”

“I agree with Xavgon. We land near the falls.” I announce.

Once his feet grip the white ground beneath him, we slowly disembark down his wing. 

I carry the girls and Kooloan and Ton carefully lowers Hiddard as Rome runs towards the falls. I scream for him, but he continues.

Hiddard breaths are beginning to labor. The altitude is making it harder for him to breathe so he must have a punctured lung. Xavgon has already taken my thoughts so he moves towards a pile of pipes of some kind.

Removing the chest from his jaws he brings up a red flame heating the pipes just right. Bringing two over to me, he nods his head in approval. I knew what I had to do or Hiddard would die. I ask Ton for his knife that Xavgon then heats. After, I ask Ton to take his sisters. I whisper in Hiddard’s ear. Then…

I insert one pipe into his chest releasing the pressure. Liquid flows and his breathing normalizes a bit more. Rome runs back to use and stares into Xavgon’s eyes.

“Mother, he has found drinkable water and shelters some clicks below.”

“How do you know this?” I ponder.

“I don’t know how, but I can understand him, as clearly as I do you.” He answers.

I beckon for Ton to retrieve the eggs.  After he moves in we carefully lift Hiddard onto Kooloan’s back. I take the hands of the girls and we follow Rome. Xavgon takes to the sky without a thought.

“Is he leaving us?” Ton ask.

“Where ever he is going or whatever he is doing, it is necessary. Don’t worry. Just follow my wild dog.” I assure. 

Dawnies, don’t forget to comment and reblog. Your feedback is essential to edits and final publication. Share, share, share!

In The End: All Things New

Image By: Stacy Ebert

First, I hope that everyone had a joyous holiday however you choose to celebrate it. I would also like to say thank you to the followers I have gained in my short time here. I hope you will continue to support me.

Dawnies, this is the time of year we stop to think about our past, present, and future. We tend to focus on our lives as it has played out this year. For me, I spend much time focusing on my past before 2019, 2019, hell 1998. Something I have learned finally is that I have never let go. All of it remains with me to this day. All the pain and suffering from illness, grief, betrayal, and mistrust lingers within me. Now, I have finally found that I am my own worst enemy. What should I do about it?

Me vs. Me

One thing I have decided is that my goal will remain the same. I want to bring about a newer and better me, not just in 2020, but beyond. Spending so much of my time discussing and wondering about how things others have done affects me ends today. The bottom line is I will not become who I am meant to be if I don’t begin with me. I can no longer worry about what others have or have not done. As hard as this may be, I will never get a truer me without the release.

I must move beyond a state of division, doubt, and confusion. Wrapping it up inside of a large box, placing it inside of the trunk of my car, driving to the nearest cliff, walking to the edge, and releasing it with a smile is an order of mine. Moving forward to all things new, clear, content, and free.

I cannot be ruled by love and duty. I must begin to do what’s best for me. As for now, what’s best for me is to love me beyond all. After, there will be room for everyone else. By loving me first, I can let go and walk through any valley or shadow and come out clear on the other side. Forward and logical thinking will be within my grasp.

Logic will not block out my spiritual journey but help improve my relationship with my creator. I wish all of you nothing but the best in the coming year. If you are struggling, remember, we are our own worst enemies so only we can set our minds and bodies free. Seek freedom for you as I will for me. May you all prosper, maintain and gain all the success this planet has to offer.

I love and appreciate you all. See you in 2020 Dawnies!

Epilepsy Within Me

Image By: AANS

I am a conqueror and I will not accept defeat. Dawnies, I have been missing you for the last two weeks have brought back to the center of my life a disease I have possessed within me since birth, epilepsy. For some time this disease has been dormant, but now it has awakened. I would be lying if I was to say everything is great for this last event has taken something from me, but I cannot let it take me.

As you all know, I am working on Dawn of the Dragon, and as it nears its ending, I suffered an attack. This episode was different. After going through normal effects (confusion, headaches, extreme tiredness), something new. Now, it is normal to forget certain things after seizures, but forgetting things not stored in long term memory has never occurred. My short term memory has been compromised.

At first, I thought it was just normal forgetting, but the last three weeks have been unbearing. It is as if I have forgotten my own name in a sense. I can’t remember anything. Talk about the most frustrating feeling, the unknown. Now, my doctor has prescribed new medication and has run several tests (including a sleep study). The goal is to not have any more seizures any time soon so that things won’t get worse.

Meds, keep this monster at bay is all I ask. For those of you who believe, drop a prayer or two off for me. As for epilepsy, why not spread awareness. Epilepsy is a neurological disease. The disease itself can occur because due to premature birth (my case), head trauma, disease, alcohol or drug abuse, stress, sleep deprivation, strokes, and in some cases causes unknown.

Signs:

Wandering

Confusion

Jerk, Twitches, Violent Shaking

Picking or Lip Smacking

How Eplispy is Diagnosed:

EEGs monitor brain activity. The electrodes are connected to the head showing a picture of what is going on inside of the brain. Genetic panels are performed as the disease can also be genetic. With a proper diagnosis, doctors can plan for treatment.

A proper treatment plan is very important for more people die a year of seizure-related accidents than women who die of breast cancer. More men than woman have the disease, and at least. 45,000 children a year are diagnosed.

Dawnies, I am hoping for the best outcome. I need my brain.

Getting To Know Your Characters

Twillightsaga.fandom.com

Dawnies, over the weekend, I was cleaning out some of my older books when I came across one of my old favs from my vampire days. Now, everyone has their own opinions about the movies, but I loved the Twilight series. My favorite character, of course, Bella.

These days, the only time I hear that name is when my daughter refers to me as Bella for her baby. Yes, I am a new grandmother, but I am not called grandma or mother, I am called Bella.

For me, Bella was the character who had the most growth throughout the series ultimately becoming what she wanted to be most of all, a vampire. As I got to know her character through the books, I would often think about getting to know characters as a writer. Now, Dawnies, I know I cannot be the only one who feels a personal connection to characters I develop as I am sure Stephenie Meyer had.

Building a personal relationship with characters, in my opinion, is, in fact, the best way to develop them. Weird? Of course not. As a writer/novelist, you will develop a deep connection with the people you bring to life on a page. In order to write characters with in-depth complexities or surface simplicities, we must know what he or she wants.

When I begin developing a character, it is much like meeting someone for the first time. I say hello or ask how he or she is doing. I notice their gender and race. If the stranger and I want to get better acquainted, diving deeper is a must. I learn their age, social class, sexuality, level of education, place of birth, number of siblings, occupations, hobbies, talents, etc.

The more time, I spend getting to know this person, the more facts come pouring in. For example, I find out if he or she likes black jellybeans. I learn that he or she runs their fingers through and twirls hair when nervous. He or she sleeps on a floor through a bed is available. Soon, I begin to understand their wants and needs.

By understanding wants and needs, we are able to gain insight into internal motivations. The difference between a character on a page and a real person is where you begin to build the narrative arc. Just as you dive deeper when getting to know someone, dive deeper into your character by probing them. Your probe may be as simple as their favorite ice cream or asking them about their relationship with their parents. As you continue to dive, you will begin to find out what makes them tick.

As with any relationship, it is important to learn character traits as it relates to how they react under pressure and to change. Humans do not like change, so it is important to develop characters that will go through something that will cause a huge transformation in their lives and a great way to show it is to develop a timeline. A timeline will help you write a well-developed history. This history may include how they are perceived by others.

Just as I may inquire from someone who knows about the new person in my life, you want to do the same with your character. Your character will have a past life just as we all do.

I hope you have enjoyed this bit of advice. As Ray Bradbury wrote: “Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.” Without well-developed characters, our plots may fall along the wayside.

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