March 2017 - Shadyia Ascendant

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Deresi: 5 favorite witticisms (not for the overly sensitive.)

Deresi: 5 favorite witticisms (not for the overly sensitive.)

Deresi: 5 favorite witticisms

For this week’s blog, I give you the 5 favorite witticisms of Deresi (not for the overly sensitive.)

Sweet, beautiful, crimson-haired Deresi has a wicked sense of humor. If you are one of her more generous coins (and turn a blind eye when things go missing in your home), or Shadyia in need of a smile, you may have already heard some of these. For the rest of you, here are Deresi’s top 5 favorite jests.

Here we go:

  1. Two men are fishing in a lake when a magician joins them. But instead of getting out a pole, the magician walks across the surface of the water, grabs a fish, and takes it back to his bucket.
    Five times he does this before he picks up the bucket and walks home and one of the fishermen turns to the other and says, “Those magicians think they be so damn smart—they don’t even know how to swim!”.
  2. A young woman asks her grandmother what kind of man she should spend her life with.
    The older woman says, “My dear, it is important to find a man who cooks for you.
    And it is important to find a man who can earn lots of silver.
    And it is important to find a man who can make wild, passionate love to you all night long.
    But MOST important,” the wise old grandma adds, “it is absolutely essential that these three men never meet.”
  3. A Sacred of Ouranos dies and finds himself at the Gates of Eriensym.
    Ouranos himself appears and asks, “Why should I let thee enter? What good hath thee done?”
    The Sacred says, “Well, once I was in this tavern and I saw a group of Bloodthorn mercenaries drinking and cussing and sinning. I walked up the biggest one, knocked the drink form his hand, slapped him across the face, and told him he needed to do better in his life.”
    Ouranos was impressed. “Very good my son. When did this happen?”
    The Sacred rubs his elbow and said, “Oh, a few minutes ago.”
  4. A young man joins the Knights of the Silver Horn to guard the frontier against the northern barbarians. It’s hard work, but the worst part is there are no women.
    His needs are mounting day by day, so he goes to his commander and asks what he can do about this.
    The commander says, “On the outside of the camp over there, you will see a barrel. When you need to, you can use it. Just stick your cock in one of its holes and all will be good. You can do this any day except Thursday.”
    The young warrior seems confused by this. How can a barrel take care of him? He resists another day, but then he can resist no more.
    He goes to the barrel and does as his commander suggests. And it was great! The barrel took care of his needs almost instantly! It was the best he ever had.
    The next day, he sees the commander. “Thank you, sir! That barrel was amazing!”
    The old officer says, “I’m glad it took care of you. Remember, you can use it any day except Thursday.”
    The young warrior says, “You mentioned that before. Why not on Thursday? What happens on Thursday?”
    The commander replies, “Thursday is *your* turn in the barrel.”
  5. And the number one favorite joke of Deresi is:
    A young noble is showing a girl he desires his powerful warhorse. “His name is Wild Thunder. He runs as fast as the wind and shakes the ground with his might!”
    The girl is thrilled and asks if she could ride with him.
    “Only if you take off all your clothes,” the young noble says with a devious smile.
    The girl is embarrassed, but they are far out in the countryside, so she agrees. She gets completely naked and jumps on the back of the horse. The noble digs in his heels and they’re off! The girl clings to his back! The trees whisk past! It was fantastic! Then suddenly the horse steps in a hole and stumbles. The girl is thrown clear, but the noble and horse roll end over end and stop. The young man is trapped under the poor dead horse. “There is a fisherman who lives just over the hill there! Go and get help!” he cries.
    “But I can’t,” says the girl. “I’m naked!”
    “Take off my boot,” he says, “and cover yourself. And hurry! I’m dying!”
    The girl pulls off his boot and, holding it over her pubes, she runs over the hill. She sees the fisherman by a lake and, still holding the boot between her legs, she runs toward him and cries, “Please help me! My lord is stuck!”
    The fisherman looks at the boot and says, “There’s nothing I can do, ma’am. He’s in too far.”

And, because I love to give an extra bonus when I can, here is Shadyia’s favorite joke:

  • A man escapes from the Bastille where he has been locked up for 15 years. He breaks into a house to look for coins and food and clothes and finds a married couple in bed. He orders the man out of bed and ties him to a chair. While tying the girl to the bed he gets on top of her, kisses her neck, then gets up and goes into the pantry.
    While he’s in there, the husband tells his wife: “Listen, this man has obviously escaped from the Bastille. He probably hasn’t been with a woman for years. I saw how he kissed your neck. If he wants you, don’t resist, do whatever he tells you. Satisfy him no matter how much he nauseates you. Be strong, honey. I love you.”
    To which his wife responds: “He wasn’t kissing my neck. He was whispering in my ear. He told me he prefers men. He thinks you’re cute and asked me if we had any lard for his cock. I told him it was in the pantry. Be strong honey. I love you too!”

Heroic Fantasy? What is so damn appealing about it anyway?

Heroic Fantasy? What is so damn appealing about it anyway?

What is so damn appealing about heroic fantasy, anyway?

Allow me to explain

Once upon a time, in the early days of computer gaming, I bought a game which came with a map. Totally unrealistic; towns with no purpose, castles and crypts put in mountains and swamps (who would build a !@&%#! castle in a swamp?), and groups of monsters that would just sit there and wait for the player to bring his adventurers along, slap the tar out of them, and take their stuff.

The Isle of Fire - Heroic Fantasy Game

Here’s the thing. The map, for all its gamey silliness, was utterly fascinating. An Island of Fire in the middle. Castle Dragontooth. Forsaken Sands. I was looking over this map (it was for Might and Magic 3, Isles of Terra, if you must know) in my university library when a beautiful young woman walked by, saw it, and asked what that was all about. Abashed at my nerdiness, I awkwardly told her it was a map for a computer game. I held my breath as she took a good long look at the map (I expected some ‘means girls’ comment like “Yeah, whatever, looser”) but she said, “Oh, I love things like that” and walked on.

I think she meant it, and I was surprised. Not because I didn’t get a ‘mean girls’ comment, but because this map was so dumb! Even back then I knew it. I looked at the map again—and I began to realize why heroic fiction (swords and sorcery) held such appeal.

The chance to command your own destiny through adventure

In no other genre can a reader expect to find this unique opportunity. Sci-fi is about how technology changes our lives. Westerns, Military, Historical and such allow us to experience people living in different times and places. Horror is to scare the shit out of us. Crime is to match wits with a killer. Only in heroic fantasy is your destiny in your hands. The Tomb of Horrors is out there, lost somewhere, full of treasure. Use your last few silvers to buy a sword and some leather armor. Roll up that map your deceased uncle left you. You’ll have to sneak across the troll badlands, but if you travel at night, they’ll all be asleep in their caves. At least, you hope so.

What’s that you say? What about the Star Wars galaxy? That’s science fiction and it’s full of adventure, right? Well, yes, but keep in mind, dear reader, that Star Wars is Science Fantasy. Does anyone ask how the engines on the Millennium Falcon work? (Only a Sheldon Cooper-like nerd would dismiss The Empire Strikes Back because there was no way Han got to Bespin without lightspeed. The rest of us don’t ask and don’t care.)


Forget elves and dwarves and dragons and goblins. These things are fun, when done right, but you can take all that out of heroic fantasy and still have something a reader would cherish, as long as you keep alive the desire to control your destiny through adventure. Sometimes, you can do it with just a few words. In Chapter 22 of Beneath the Silver Rose, I have a scene when Deresi asks Aaron how he knows the ruby he seeks is in the labyrinth:

Deresi slumped her shoulders. “Are you sure this ruby is even down here? No offense, but how do you know?”

Shadyia glanced at him. A good question. Aaron had mentioned he had a journal of some kind, but where had he found it? And who had written it?

“Do you know of Mordechai’s tavern?”

Deresi nodded. “Sure, it’s famous.”

Shadyia had heard of it as well. Mordechai’s tavern was a last haven at the eastern edge of the empire, a place where explorers sat around a blazing hearth and swapped stories of dragon lairs and abandoned castles. From Mordechai’s tavern, adventurers set off into the wild forests and mountains beyond the frontier to search ruins for ancient treasures and enchanted relics.

“You’ve been to Mordechai’s?” Shadyia asked. She had often fantasized of going there.

“Yes, I journeyed to the frontier a few years ago.” Aaron replied. “I met a traveler in Costa Sans who sold me a map that he swore marked the location the ruins of Delbia, a Zapraskian city.”


Do you start to see now?

I never take you to that tavern (at least not yet *grin*), but wouldn’t you like to go? To sit around a blazing hearth, eat roast pork off the bone and drink mead. A place where bold men and women, who openly wear their steel, boast of their adventurers! At dawn, you wake in the room you rented for the night, oil your sword, strap on your armor, and ride your horse into the forests and mountains beyond the frontier. You may return with a sack of gold and a magic ring that allows you to take the form of anyone you desire. Or some other passing adventurer may find your head impaled on a spike. It’s up to you—and Fate. Heroic fantasy will give you that chance, when no one else will.

Read on!

Deep POV : Narrators Need Not Apply – Writing Tips by T.S. Adrian

Deep POV : Narrators Need Not Apply – Writing Tips by T.S. Adrian

Deep POV: Narrators Need Not Apply

One of the great balancing acts in writing is knowing when to use your narrator’s voice (the voice of the storyteller) and when to allow your character to tell the story through dialogue or interacting with the environment. In its simplest form, I can write ‘A tall man entered the room’ or I can write ‘He ducked to clear the doorway.’ Both say the same thing, only the second is generally preferred as it adds a visual element.

In first person writing, the voice of the narrator and the voice of the character are the same. ‘I drew my sword and charged the bandits. They would pay for their butchery with their lives!’ In the glory days when writers could get rich off their books, Third Person Omniscient was all the rage. “He drew his sword and charged the bandits. They heard him come and grabbed their weapons, wondering how he had gotten into their camp. He had disguised himself as one of them and had waited until the right moment to strike.’ There you, the reader, are in the point of view of all characters.

In recent years, the trend has gone with Third Person, single point of view. ‘He drew his sword and charged the bandits. He had waited in disguise until the moment was right, and now the moment was right!’ I’ve seldom liked First Person, both in writing and reading (for reasons I will cover in another blog post) and I view Omniscient the way a surgeon today would see the practice of using leeches.

Single Point of View has, and will always be, my thing—especially Deep POV.

Deep POV

Deep POV combines the best of Single Point of View and First Person and it’s a writing style that seeks to diminish the voice of the narrator and take the reader as close to the thoughts and feeling of the POV character as possible. ‘The disguise had worked perfectly. The bandits had allowed him inside their ranks. The fools! Now they would pay for their butchery. He drew his sword and leaped into them. Slash! One went down. Many remained. Good! Bandit blood made the grass grow.’

I adore Deep POV it and use it in my writing. Here is an example from Beneath the Silver Rose:

Shadyia dropped the dagger on the corpse of the man who had grabbed her hair. He could have it back. A drop of blood slid from her chin and stained her short gown as she put her foot on the shoulder of the dying wolfguard and slid free his half-drawn longsword. She swung the blade high over her head and faced Dunstan.

He slashed the air. “Yes, come to me, whore. I’ve killed eleven men in duels.”

The leather-wrapped hilt felt good in her hand. She smirked at Dunstan. No man walked into her home and battered her sisters. “I’ll need to catch up. I’ve only bagged two today.”

Laughter skipped among the women. Lord Dunstan snarled and lunged with an overhand strike, his sword a whistling blur. Their blades met with clang of steel that shocked her arms from wrists to elbows. Dunstan leaped back and thrust forward, a tactic she’d observed when he had killed the fat general. She knocked his blade aside and repeated the move so perfectly he nearly died from his own assault. He recovered and charged, swinging wildly. She sidestepped and smacked his bottom with the flat of her sword as he passed. The sisters laughed and even Amrita rewarded her with a grin.

Do you see?

As you can see, I didn’t write “she felt a drop of blood slid off her chin…” or “she watched as he recovered and swung wildly…” Deep POV requires that the writer not use “saw, watched, felt, wondered, believed” etc–words my editor calls “iffy words.” These things just are.

Here’s another example. In chapter 18, I have Aaron and Shadyia playing Larousse, a board game I invented. Originally, I had detailed the rules strictly in the voice of the narrator. The object of the game is this, to get there you have to do that. Etc. Boring. Deep POV allowed me to tell the rules in a way that was entertaining:

Aaron glared at the board. His previous antagonist had been the master of astronomy at the University in Sullust. The match had lasted nine hours, but eventually Aaron had trapped all four of the professor’s towers and kept all four of his own towers from being trapped. The professor had used every rule to return his captured pieces to the board, but in the end, Aaron’s strategy had prevailed.

Shadyia had won their first game in less than two hours. They were an hour into their second and already she had three of his towers trapped. He had just one of hers.

He pointed at himself. “Do you know how long I’ve been playing Larousse?”

“I know how long you’ve been losing Larousse.”

Oh, you arrogant—he picked up his general and trapped the second of Shadyia’s towers.

See? You, the cherished reader, are deep in Aaron’s thoughts, and therefore in the action. Do you like this writing style? Let me know in the comments. More to come.

Write on!

Sorrow and Rage United



If you want to see how I translate this into my work,  Download my free short story here!

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