Saga of Bohok- Chapter 9

This is the ninth chapter of an online serial novel. If you want to read the story from the beginning click HERE.

Chapter 9

“Now you tell me your names.” The strange man said after a long moment of silence.

Bohok and Kirso just stared at him.

“Do you speak the People’s Speak?” He asked slowly, over enunciating each word.

“Yes.” Kirso and Bohok answered together.

“I am called Tymon.” He pointed to himself. “You are?” He pointed at Bohok.

“Bohok.”

“Good. And you are?” He said, pointing at Kirso.

“Kirso.”

“Good.” The man smiled at them. He put his long knife back in the sheath on his belt. “Now help me find my quarrel.” He started looking through the grass well past where the bear lay dead.

Bohok and Kirso both had to jog a couple of steps to catch up with him. He moved fast for an old man.  He was searching the ground for something but Bohok had never heard the word quarrel before. It was the strangest sounding word he had ever heard, it sounded harsh in his ears.

“What is a quarrel?” Bohok asked, straining to get his mouth around the word. Whatever it was the man was intent on finding it.

He looked up at Bohok and stared at him for a moment, then said, “Arrow.”

Bohok and Kirso both nodded. They knew what an arrow was. Then the man continued, “It is a special arrow. It goes in an arbalest.”

 Another strange word. Kirso cocked a confused eyebrow at Bohok, and Bohok just shrugged. “What is an arbalest?”

The man looked up again and sighed, “A crossbow.” He started, then shook his head, and held up a hand to forestall the inevitable question. He pulled a strange contraption off his back. It looked like a bow but it had a large stick stuck to the center of it, and the material the bow was made of was the same shiny stone that the man’s knife was made of. He held it up then said, “Arbalest.”

Bohok tried not to stare and shook his head. He hit Kirso in the shoulder to knock the stupefied look off his face. “Let’s help him find his quarrel.”

Bohok didn’t know why the man was looking for an arrow so far from the bear. If he had shot the bear with an arrow, the arrow should still be in the bear. Bears were incredibly dense creatures; arrows usually only penetrated a couple of inches into their thick flesh. Even the strongest Elk-Eater bow couldn’t go all the way through; even at extremely close range. Tymon must have fired from the woods, Bohok had never heard of a bow strong enough to kill a bear at that range, much less go through it.

“Here it is.” Kirso called out. He pulled a short arrow out of the ground. So short that Bohok had thought it had broken in half until he saw both the fletching and the arrow head on it.

Kirso turned the quarrel in his hand, staring at it in amazement. It was dripping blood and gore, obviously the arrow that had killed the bear, but where the blood had cleared the shaft and the point they could see that the arrow was made of the same shiny stone as the man’s knife. It seemed everything he had was made out of it.

“Good boy.” The man said excitedly and walked up to Kirso. He took the quarrel from Kirso and wiped it with a piece of hide. Then he put the quarrel onto the stick attached to the arbalest and pressed down. It made a loud snapping noise and stayed in place. “There.” He said with another smile. “The reason I brought this was it doesn’t burn up powder every time I shoot, but I only brought a dozen quarrels, I’d hate to lose one.”

Bohok didn’t even know where to begin asking questions after that last statement. He was trying to figure out half of what the man had just said when Kirso spoke.

“How did that,” he paused trying to remember the word, “quarrel go through the bear?”

Tymon got a serious look on his face. “An arbalest can put a quarrel through a steel breast plate, the man wearing it, and back out the other side boy.”

“What?” Bohok asked, confused.

“It is really strong.” Tymon said simply.

“Oh.” Bohok was still confused, but wasn’t sure he was going to get a better answer.

“What tribe are you from?” Kirso interrupted.

“What do I eat?” The man asked.

“No. What tribe are you from?” Kirso repeated with a bit of hostility to his voice.

“Ah,” Tymon smiled, “my tribe. You want to know my tribe.”

“Yes.” Kirso confirmed.

“That is a tricky one.” Tymon scratched his beard. “I am Austrian, but I came here with the Spanish missionaries. I am no missionary though.” He waved a hand in negation.

“What is a missionary?” Kirso asked.

“Well,” Tymon said solemnly, “I imagine you’re going to find that out soon enough. They are much better at explaining themselves than I. They are working their way up the river. I wanted to see what lay up stream before they got here.”

“So you paddled up the river?” Kirso asked.

“No I rode.”

“Rode? Somebody paddled for you? No man should ride in a boat without paddling. Only women ride.”

“I rode my horse.” Tymon said incredulously. The last word was another one of the strange words that made no sense to Bohok and Kirso.

“What kind of boat is a horse?” Bohok asked curiously. Every time this strange man said one of those unusual words they were treated to a new marvel.

“It isn’t a boat. It is an animal.”

“You ride on an animal?” Kirso asked.

“Yes.”

“You can’t ride animals.” Kirso argued.

“I can.”

“Where is this riding animal then?” Kirso asked his voice full of disbelief.

“I had to tie her up, she doesn’t like bears. The stupid mule wanted to fight but, she’s always up for a fight, but I don’t think she could kill one of these giant bears you have here.” He pointed at the bear for emphasis. “So I tied her up too.”

“You ride female animals.” Kirso laughed. “If you are going to ride something why not ride a male?”

“I don’t care for stallions, they have too much spirit, and geldings have too little.”

Bohok hadn’t heard so many strange words in his life. He wanted to ask the man what they meant but he was talking too quickly.

“Show me these riding animals.” Kirso demanded.

Tymon gave Kirso a strange look. “You don’t believe me?”

Kirso shook his head no. Bohok was embarrassed, this man had saved their lives and here Kirso was calling him a liar.

“Well then, let me introduce you to my girls.”

Tymon led the boys into the woods and down a small game trail that emerged into a small glade.  In the center of the glade two strange beasts were tied to a fallen log.

They were unlike anything Bohok had ever seen before. They looked somewhat like elk, but their noses were longer, and they were darker brown. They had long hair down their necks and hanging from their hindquarters. One was slightly smaller than the other and had longer ears. Both were laden down with packs but the bigger one had an area clear in the center of its back. That must be where he sits, thought Bohok.

“Those are my girls.” Tymon said with pride.  “The big one is Karina, she is a horse. The little one is Alena, she is a mule. I ride the Karina and Alena carries my supplies.”

Kirso’s jaw was hanging open. Bohok hoped he didn’t share his foolish look but he couldn’t be sure. He had never seen creatures such as this.

“Where did you get them?” Bohok asked.

“I brought them with me. Where I come from they are plentiful.”

“How did you catch them?” Kirso asked excitedly as they approached the creatures. “Do the males have antlers?”

“No,” Tymon laughed, “they don’t have antlers.”

“But how did you catch them?” Bohok repeated Kirso’s question. He was thinking that he would like to catch one for himself.

“I didn’t I bought them.”

“You traded for them.” Both Kirso and Bohok said together. They looked at each other then back to Tymon. Bohok knew that Kirso was wondering how much they would have to trade to get one.

“Yes.” Tymon answered.

As they approached the animals they started to prance about nervously. The big animal started to shy away from them but the small one’s ears folded back and it bared its teeth. Suddenly it looked very large and dangerous. Bohok and Kirso stopped dead in their tracks.

“Shhhh.” Tymon spoke to the animals in a gentle tone. “It’s alright. Now, now there. They are friends.” He reached out and stroked the horse’s nose; it calmed visibly. 

“The little one looks angry.” Kirso said still not moving forward.

“She doesn’t like strangers, and I told you, she’s always up for a fight.” Tymon went to the mule and stroked her nose and neck until her ears were standing straight up again. “It’s alright Alena, it’s alright.” He spoke in his soft tone again.

Bohok still wasn’t sure about the mule; she had a wicked look in her eye, like she was just waiting for them to get close. It was smaller than the horse but up close it still seemed pretty big.

“You want to touch them?” Tymon asked.

Kirso shook his head no.

Bohok didn’t want to get any closer either but he bravely stepped forward. He went up to Karina, keeping well clear of Alena, and slowly reached a hand out. The horse made a strange noise and rolled its eyes at him. Bohok jumped back. He heard Kirso let out a laugh behind him.

“Slowly.” Tymon counseled. “Let her get your scent.”

Bohok waited a moment longer before reaching out again. He touched the creature’s long nose. It was softer than Bohok had anticipated. He stroked it again, the way that Tymon had, and the horse pushed back against his hand.

“See, not that bad, she likes you.” Tymon beamed at Bohok.

Bohok couldn’t help but smile back. He kept petting the horse’s nose and neck. The horse nickered approvingly.

“You’re a natural.” Tymon grinned. “Do you want to ride her?”

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Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 1:04 am  Comments Off on Saga of Bohok- Chapter 9  

Book Cover V1.3

After some harsh words about having a “girly” font. Here is my next version. What do you think?

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm  Comments (4)  

Saga of Bohok-Chapter 8

This is the eighth chapter of an online serial novel- to read the story from the beginning click here.

Chapter 8

Terrified, Bohok didn’t look back, he just ran.  The forest was home to two kinds of bears. Blacks and Browns. The blacks were smaller and usually left people alone. The browns were a different story. Kirso would have yelled and jumped around if it was a black bear and try to scare it off. There was no scaring off the browns.

Kirso was well ahead of him heading for a cluster of pine trees across the meadow. Bohok put his head down and sprinted after him. He focused on lifting his knees and driving his feet downward, running as hard as he could. He could hear the crashing of brush behind him he knew the bear was charging after him.

Bohok dodged around small trees and bushes as he ran. He gauged the bear’s distance by how long it took to hear the brush rattle or the trees snap as the bear charged through them. It was closing on him fast.

Kirso made the trees and to Bohok’s astonishment Kirso managed to run up the side of the pine tree and grab the lowest branch a good ten feet above the ground. Kirso pulled himself up onto the branch and scrambled up even higher into the tree.

“Run Bohok!” He shouted down from his perch urging Bohok on.

He could hear the bear grunting behind him as it ran. Each grunt was closer, until he felt the bear’s hot breath on his back. He wasn’t going to make it to the tree.

He braced himself for the attack. He knew the bear would overtake him any moment. He stared longingly at the tree, he would never reach it.

He thought he was prepared but when the paw hit his side Bohok screamed. The blow knocked him from his feet and sent him sprawling into the dirt. The impact knocked his breath away; he gasped for futility for air. Desperately he crawled forward on his knees and elbows; still trying to escape the bear. He could feel blood gushing out of the tears the bear’s claws had rent in his side.

Just as his lungs seemed to start working again Bohok felt a massive paw step down upon his back, pinning him to the ground. Five points like knife heads pricked the skin of his back. The bear didn’t press down hard, just hard enough to keep Bohok from moving.

The hot breath was there again. It came in gusts as the massive creature panted over him. First on his back, then he felt the breath move up his body, onto his neck, then each breath blew his hair around as it snuffled his head. The rancid meat stench of its breath was so strong, that it burned Bohok’s nose.

Bohok didn’t want to look back. He didn’t want to see it. He didn’t want to know when the killing bite came, as he knew it would.

Hot saliva dripped onto back and neck as the bear drooled on him. He could feel it pooling between his shoulder blades before it ran in warm rivers down both sides of his neck.  Bohok wanted to scream but his lungs couldn’t get enough air with the beast’s paw pressing down on him. He felt like he was drowning. His fingers were starting to bleed as he clawed in the dirt trying to get free.

Then, without warning, the bear bellowed a great roar and lifted its paw from Bohok’s back. His chest rose as he gulped in air.  He tried to get up but his body wouldn’t move. All he could do is breathe.

“Run you idiot!” He heard Kirso scream. It took Bohok a moment to realize what was wrong with the sound of Kirso’s voice. It was too low; it was from the ground.

He turned to see Kirso with a fist full of rocks and he was throwing them at the bear. The bear was starting to walk towards him. “Run!” He shouted before dropping his rocks and turning to climb his tree again.

Bohok sprung to his feet and started to run but something caught his eye as he spun around. Kirso couldn’t get back up into the tree. The branches were too high to get at without a running start. Bohok took two long strides in the opposite direction before stopping. Kirso didn’t have to climb out of that tree to help him. He could have stayed up there and let the bear eat him. Bohok couldn’t let the bear get Kirso; he couldn’t let Kirso best him in courage too.

Bohok scooped some rocks up off the ground and turned back towards Kirso and the bear; it was almost on him. Kirso scrambled desperately trying to reach the lowest branches on the tree.

Bohok hurled a rock and hit the bear in the back. It didn’t respond. Bohok screamed at it and threw another. The bear stopped and looked back at him, looked him in the eye. For a moment Bohok thought he could read its mind. The look seemed to say, “I gave you a chance and this is what you chose to do with it?”

The bear turned away from Kirso and stared at Bohok. Then the bear looked at Kirso, still scrambling to get up the tree. Bohok saw the confusion on the bear’s face, the indecision. Bohok threw another rock and hit it square between the eyes. That made up its mind.

The bear started running towards him. Bohok looked around. He was still far away from any trees that he thought he had any hope of climbing. What had he just done? He turned to run, but then he saw Kirso throwing rocks and screaming at the bear.

What was he doing? Bohok had just saved him and he was, he was… He was doing the exact same thing Bohok was doing.

The bear stopped again in a cloud of dust. He let out a roar in protest. He obviously had never had its food torment him in this manner. It stood up on its hind legs and bellowed another roar. On its hind legs the bear was easily twice Bohok’s height. The display made Bohok’s knees weak. There was no escaping this monster.

Just then a sound unlike Bohok had ever heard before came out of the woods. It was louder than a tree snapping in half but resonated like bowstring. There was a strange humming sound accompanying it.

Then the bear lurched forward and swayed in place. It looked around. It gave a confused grunt then went down on four legs again. Then, to Bohok’s amazement, the bear collapsed, flat on the ground.

Bohok was baffled. What had happened?  What was that noise? Why was the bear not moving?

“What was that?” Kirso shouted echoing Bohok’s thoughts.

Bohok only shrugged. The bear was still on the ground. “I think it’s dead.” He yelled back.

Both boys started edging toward the bear. They cautiously approached it from both sides. Bohok saw a pool of blood forming under its great body.

“Hold!” A strange voice called out from the woods. Bohok and Kirso spun towards it.

A man emerged from the forest. He was tall, taller than any man they had ever seen. He had furs wrapped around his body and leathers around his legs, like an Elk-Eater. A great beard swung from his neck, thicker than any beard Bohok had ever seen. The hair of the beard was as orange as a campfire, but that wasn’t the most shocking thing about him.

The most shocking thing was his skin. His skin was so pale that Bohok thought he must be sick; he had never seen anyone so pale unless they were deathly ill, or dead. But he didn’t move like a sick man he loped across the meadow with an easy gait.

“Hold.” He called out again, waving one arm. He pulled out a knife from his belt. The stone of the blade was as peculiar as everything else about this man. It shone like the side of a trout in the sun and it was longer than Bohok’s arm. “The first shot might not have killed it.”

The man closed on the bear. With a great thrust he shoved his long, strange knife through the side of the bear up to the handle. The bear did not move. The man freed his knife with a powerful yank. He flicked the blood from the blade and nodded, almost to himself.

He smiled a broad smile and put the tip of his knife into the ground.  It was so long that he easily rested his hands on top of the handle one crossed over the other. Bohok stared at the shiny knife. He wondered how someone could chip a knife so long and straight. He wondered why it didn’t break under its own weight; it was so thin.

Up close Bohok saw that the orange beard and his temples were streaked with grey. He was old; perhaps that was why he was so very pale. His face was weathered and his eyes hinted at secret wisdom, just like Chief Yoosin’s.

The man looked at the two astonished boys one at a time. “That was a very brave act. Both of you. I saw most of it. Impressive.” His words sounded strange, the inflections were all wrong, he had an accent like an Elk-Eater but even that was wrong.

Kirso spoke first. “Who are you?” He asked.

The man laughed, even his laugh sounded different, but it was long and deep and both Kirso and Bohok started giggling along with him. “I’m sorry boys, let me introduce myself.” He put a hand to his chest and bent his body in half in a bizarre fashion. When he straightened he said, “I am called Tymon.”

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 12:24 am  Comments Off on Saga of Bohok-Chapter 8  
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Book Cover V1.1

How about this?

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 2:09 am  Comments Off on Book Cover V1.1  

Book Cover

If I decide to publish my book on Smashwords I’d need a cover for my book. I spent a couple of minutes on photoshop and this is what I came up with.

What do you think?

Published in: on February 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm  Comments (3)  

Smashwords and Authonomy

I am always thinking of publishing Midnight in Vegas on various eBook websites like Smashwords or Authonomy. The only reason I haven’t done it is that I worry that it might hurt my chances of being published by conventional publishers. I have read that some publishers like to see an author has published on these sites and is already marketing the book and others don’t like it and will actually refuse to publish a book that already is in eBook format. They don’t want the competition.

So here I am on the fence.

What to do?

Personally I like the idea of publishing on Smashwords. People can download the book on a bunch of formats and read it on Stanza (an App for iPhones, iPods and eventually iPads), Kindles, PC’s or Blackberries. Another benefit is you can set the price for your work on Smashwords. I can actually make money on the book. But I hate the idea of some “real” publisher not buying my book because it is on there.

I still don’t know.

So I thought I would put up a poll. What do you think I should do?

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm  Comments Off on Smashwords and Authonomy  
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Three Jack Night

The scratching woke him up again. Jack cracked open one eye and shifted his pillow so he could see the alarm clock. Eleven forty-five. Shit. It took him two rolls to get to the edge of his king size bed. He threw the blankets off in a dramatic gesture and sat up.

The little fucker was by the door, waiting, its brown and black body shaking uncontrollably. He was a Jack Russell Terrier and he shook when he was excited. He did a lot of things when he was excited, like piss all over the place.

Jack hated the dog. It wasn’t even his dog. It was his ex-wife’s dog, just like he was sleeping in his ex-wife’s bed. She had left them with Jack because they didn’t fit into her new lifestyle. They were relics of her old life; the life where she played house with Big Jack and Little Jackie and they all slept together in the big bed.

It was always a game to her, a phase, something she was bound to get bored with or grow out of. Jack had known it all along; he knew she was going to move on to something new and exciting after a while. She was too fickle, too distracted by shiny new things to stay doing one thing for too long. He had always thought that when she moved on to something new, he was going to come along with her. Instead she left him right along with the dog and the bed.

Now it was just Big Jack, Little Jackie and a big ass bottle of Jack Daniels.

He stumbled to the back door. The little dog pranced excitedly and shook some more. Jack threw the deadbolt on the door. It opened with an obnoxious squeak; the house was old, the whole place squeaked and groaned and popped. When Jack walked down the hall it sometimes sounded like someone was following him as the boards snapped back into place. It made the house really spooky sometimes, but he had gotten used to it.

The little dog looked up at him and then at the opening. Jack had opened the door just far enough to let the damn dog out. It was winter and it was cold and he was in his skivvies. He didn’t want to open the door any farther than he had to. “Well what the fuck do you want?” He asked the little pain in the ass.

The little dog looked at the cracked open door and whined.

“I’m not going to slam it on you.” Jack said; then added “Again.”

He wasn’t proud about trying to kill the dog. But he had been drunk and the fucking thing reminded him of her. He groaned and opened the door all the way. A cold gust of wind hit him and instantly hardened his nipples and shrank his cock.

“God damn it.” He shivered.

The little dog looked up at him, looked outside and shook some more.

“Now what are you waiting for?”

The dog just shook and whimpered. Jack put the side of his foot against the little dog’s ass and shoved him out the wide open door. The dog went skittering out into the dark, its little nails failing to get purchase as it slid across the redwood deck.

Jack slammed the door and threw the deadbolt. He looked down at the lock, chuckled to himself and unlocked it. The little fucker was going to want back in soon enough.

Jack walked into his bathroom and relieved himself. He was up, after all. He flushed and opened up the medicine cabinet. Grabbing the Xanax bottle he dumped two into his hand. The Jack Daniels was on his nightstand; he put the pills in his mouth and walked back to his bed.

The bottle of Jack was one of the giant Costco bottles. He had finished half of it this weekend. He spun the lid off with his thumb and took a shot to wash down the pills.

He looked at the door. Usually the dog was quick about his business. A couple of minutes then he was scratching to come back in. Jack wondered what was taking so long. He was loath to get back into bed. He knew the damn dog would want back in as soon as he got comfortable. He went to the door and opened it a little. “Jackie.” He called. Nothing. He peered out into the darkness. The night was overcast, there was no moon or stars. He couldn’t see ten feet into the yard. “Jackie.” He gave a little whistle. He didn’t know why, the stupid dog never came when called anyway.

He shut the door and flopped down on top of the covers to wait for the dog to return.

The cold awoke him. He was shivering. He raised his head, the door was open. Cold wind blew into the house. “Jackie?” He called for the dog. He must have left the door cracked a little and the fucker pushed it open.

Pushing himself off the bed, he noticed that he had been drooling. His comforter had a huge wet spot where his head had been. He licked his lips and wiped his slimy cheek. Slamming the door shut he called for the dog again. He listened for the chime of his tags jingling on his collar, nothing.

“Jackie you little shit.” He mumbled. His head was full of cottonballs from the Xanax. He peeled back his blankets and laid down. “Jackie.” He yelled to no avail. The dog must have gone back outside. Well he could fucking freeze, he didn’t care.

Jack’s eyes shot open; he had been sleeping but, he heard a creaking noise. He hated this house. “Jackie?” He called out. Was the dog in the house after all? He forced himself up.

The creaking noises went echoing down the hall. Something was in the house. Something bigger than a Jack Russell Terrier.

“Joanne?” His first thought was that it was his wife but then he remembered. She was gone, and she wasn’t coming back. He struggled to get his fuzzy mind to work.

The creaking noises seemed closer; they were coming down the hall. A jolt of fear went through him. Something or someone was definitely in his house. He scrambled to the edge of his bed and grabbed the baseball bat he had stashed underneath it.

The creaking stopped. “Who’s there?” He shouted down the hall. He sat up, holding the bat in both hands. He listened but there was no answer. He worked up some courage and leapt from his bed. Hitting the light switch with the tip of the bat he warily went out into the hall.

The floorboards gave their usual protests as he walked down the hall. Jack winced at each one. If somebody was in his house they would know right where he was.

He worked his way down to the front room and the kitchen. He tried to keep his back to a wall as he explored his house. He looked at the entryway.

The front door was open. What the fuck. He knew he’d locked that door. Hadn’t he? He cautiously approached the door and gazed outside. It was still darker than shit. “Jackie?” He called into the night, where the fuck was that dog anyway?

He waited a minute before he slammed the door and threw the dead bolt. He’d been drinking too much. It was windy; the wind had opened the door. There was no other explanation. He put the bat on his shoulder and went back through the house, turning off the lights as he went. He left the bedroom light on, what did he care, he paid the power bill and nobody was here to call him a pussy.

He leaned the bat against the night stand, took a big swig off the JD to calm his nerves and climbed back into bed. He adjusted the pillows and the blankets, got everything perfect. Then a scratch came at the door.

“Fuck!” Jack cursed. He threw the blankets off and got out of bed. He stomped to the back door. He wanted the little shit to know he was pissed before he opened the door. Where the fuck had he been, anyway? He threw open the door.

Nothing.

 He flipped the switch for the back porch light. The bulb lit up a tiny sphere in the gloom. No dog. “Jackie you little shit! Get in here!”

Nothing.

The creaks came from behind him, charging down the hall. His bat, Jack thought too late, was back by his bed. The dark form moved too quickly for him to make out what it was. Jack screamed.

The sun rose and Jackie crawled out of his hole in the rose bushes. He found his master’s body half way in and half way out of back door. The smell of blood made him excited, he started to shake, and piss everywhere.

Vegas Baby!

I will be attending the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference on April 15th – April 18th. You can check out their website here .

It looks like they have great program this year and some really interesting agents, authors, and publishers to hobnob with.

The other great thing about the conference is they limit attendance to 150 people. That makes it a little more intimate. I never got the final numbers from BEA last year but there were hordes of us there. You can read my thoughts on that here and here.

They also have dinners and “meet and greets” where they make the illustrious ones mingle with us dirty hungry ones.

I am looking forward to going to a west coast convention. It seems that everything in writing is so New York centric. Which is great, if you live back east. It’s a pain in the ass for those of us who can’t throw down a thousand dollars in air fare to cross the country for every major convention. 

Of course even as I write this part of me is still jumping up and down screaming and shouting for joy that the World Science Fiction Convention (where they give out the Hugo awards!) will be hosted in Reno next year. RENOVATION! I am so there.

Tchuss

Lystra

Actors and Actresses Contest

One of my favorite games is to cast the characters in my favorite books.

It is fun to pick actors and actresses for each character, but I hadn’t ever thought to play the game with my book. My cousin Jen just finished reading my book and I asked her to critique it. In her critique she cast my characters. I was both thrilled and shocked by this. Why hadn’t I thought about doing that? I should have, I do it with pretty much every book I read.

Needless to say, I played the game myself and came up with my own cast. Unfortunately my list was corrupted by Jen’s list, she nailed a few characters dead on, they wouldn’t have been the choices I made but they were far better than the ones I would have picked. I was also shocked by her interpretations of other characters.

All in all I thought her assessment was awesome and helpful. It is great inside information to see how a reader perceives the characters.

So this is what I would like to do.

I am going to have my first blog contest.

If you have read my book I would like to know what actors you would cast in the roles of the major characters.

The prize: The person who does the best job casting my book will receive a $25.00 Border’s gift certificate and a special shout out in the acknowledgments section of my book if it ever gets published.

What if I haven’t read it? You ask.

Not to worry I will give the contest a one month time limit and give anyone who emails me at lystraeudaimon@msn.com a copy of my book for the duration of the contest.

That being said: Here is the first entry. All other entries must be posted as comments.

Jen Apodaca’s cast:

Charles DeCroix- Forest Whitaker

Jeff Heaven- Justin Timberlake

Clarissa- Malin Akerman (from Watchmen)

Nic- John Bon Jovi

Abby- Chloe Sevigney (the blonde wife from Big Love)

Lawrence- Ron Pearlman

Tymon- Jack Palance

Scratch- Michael Sheen (From the Underworld movies)

Chance- Michael Emerson (Benjamin Linus from Lost)

I would ask that you try to be creative and not repeat any unless that is the one you would have picked anyway. Repeats will lose you points so try to post yours up as quickly as possible.

Contest ends on March 10th

When it is over I’ll post up my cast.

Game on.

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm  Comments (1)  

Saga of Bohok- Chapter 7

Chapter 7

They left before dawn. The light of the coming sun winked out the stars above them as they paddled the boat up the river. Kirso sat in the front of the canoe and set a furious pace for their rowing. It didn’t take Bohok long to figure out that Kirso was testing him.

Kirso had always been stronger than Bohok. When Bohok had been exiled Kirso could haul heavier nets than Bohok. He was a stronger rower than Bohok. He was a better wrestler than Bohok. When Bohok had been exiled Kirso was the better than Bohok at every skill the Fish-Eaters held high in esteem.

That, Bohok decided, was before he was exiled. He matched Kirso stroke for stroke and the canoe sped up the river. Bohok had fished hard, worked hard, fought hard to live all on his own all summer. He wasn’t weaker than Kirso anymore. He set his mind to his work and let the rhythm of the oars overtake him. He would not be the first one to break the pace, he would not tire first.

The canoe raced up the river. They flushed a bunch of ducks that had been sleeping in a calm stretch of water. The skein flew inches above the water, their wing tips touching the placid waters leaving pairs of rings expanding behind them. They flew just ahead of the boat daring Kirso and Bohok to catch them. Kirso gave a quick look back to Bohok before quickening their pace. They chased the ducks up the river until the flock finally veered off and headed up above the trees that hugged the banks of the river.

Bohok expected Kirso to slow. The ducks were gone but Kirso kept up the same pace. The muscles in Bohok’s arms were alight with pain but he swore to himself that he would not quit. Kirso stole a quick look over his shoulder. Bohok could see the same determination set in his eyes; Kirso wasn’t going to quit either.

The sun was well overhead when Bohok started to panic. He didn’t know how much longer he could keep this up. His body was screaming with pain. Each stroke was sheer agony. He knew that Kirso had to be feeling the same way. Nobody could row this long, this hard, and not be hurting. Bohok’s mind scrambled for a plan. He needed to end this contest and end it quickly.

Bohok stared at Kirso’s back as they paddled up the river; he saw the sweat pouring off it. He heard Kirso’s grunting with each stroke. He is almost done, he told himself, I just need to push him. With that thought Bohok increased his pace. Forcing himself to paddle even faster than before.

Kirso noticed the change immediately. He shot a furious look over his shoulder and matched Bohok’s new pace, then exceeded it.

Struggling to match Kirso, Bohok’s paddle just didn’t move fast enough. It seemed like Kirso was taking two strokes for every one that Bohok managed. Bohok shifted his grip on the paddle trying to get better leverage, he plunged it into the water and then, the water took it from his hands.

Bohok watched in horror as his paddle drifted away from the speeding canoe. Kirso kept paddling for several strokes before he noticed that Bohok had stopped.  He turned to see what had happened and a wicked smile crossed his face when he saw the paddle far down the river.

“I should have expected a Bug-Eater to drop his paddle.” He said with as much contempt as he could muster.

“It slipped.” Bohok said lamely. “Turn around.”

“What and waste half the day chasing a paddle downstream?” Kirso laughed. “In case you haven’t noticed we are about as far up the river as we are going to be able to paddle anyway. A true Fish-Eater knows the river. The currents get far too strong up ahead. We’ll beach here and start the walk.”

Bohok only nodded. He won’t go back because he knew that I almost had him beat and he doesn’t want to give me a second chance, he thought.

Kirso paddled the boat into the bank and they climbed out.  Bohok and Kirso hauled the boat up onto land and a good ways away from the river before flipping it over. Rainstorms and flash floods could wash a boat back into the river if it was right side up and then it would be gone forever. Kirso started piling up some large rocks around the bow and stern of the canoe to be double safe.

Bohok took out some dried salmon from his pack and sat down. The sun was almost at its zenith and he was hungry. He hadn’t had any properly dried fish in a long time, it was wonderful.

“Aren’t you going to help?” Kirso complained. His arms full of heavy rocks.

“Why should I?” Bohok laughed. “It’s not my boat, and a stupid Bug-Eater like me would probably do it all wrong anyway.”

“Probably.” Kirso nodded his agreement and kept placing rocks until the boat was completely surrounded.

Kirso pulled out some fish from his pack and sat across from Bohok. He ate in silence for a while then said, “So when are we going to do it?”

“What?” Bohok asked.

“Fight.” Kirso growled.

Bohok shrugged. “Now?”

“I figure I owe you one.” He made a fist. “Actually I owe you two. The way I see it we are going to end up fighting sooner or later on this trip.”

Bohok shrugged, his body was sore. He didn’t want to fight, but he knew it was inevitable. “You sure you want to fight me without all your friends to help you?”

“You sure you want to fight me in an honorable fight? You won’t get any sneaky punches.” Kirso stood up and assumed a wresting stance. He drew a line in the sand with his toe. “Cross it.”

Bohok stood and stretched his aching back. He twisted his arms in a circle, and tried to shake out the soreness. He walked up to the line and looked Kirso in the eye. “You ready?”

Kirso nodded and balled his hands into fists.

Bohok stepped across the line.

Kirso’s face suddenly went white with fear. He turned and started running away. Bohok laughed at him. “Come back here, coward!”

“Run!” Kirso yelled, not turning around. “Bear!”

Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 9:48 pm  Comments Off on Saga of Bohok- Chapter 7  
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