Nano Absence Heads Up

Just a heads up. If I don’t respond to email, Facebook, etc. it’s because I’m writing my head off. November is National Novel Writing Month, so I’ll be typing nonstop for a month. 50,000 words in 4 weeks. Actually, I’m kind of cheating. I have a story that I’m about 10,000 words into that’s been sitting on the shelf for a couple years, and I’m going to finish it. But I’m going to re-write what I have so far to put it in first person. Plus I’ve made myself a deal that those first 10,000 words don’t count for Nanowrimo, and I’ll only track the rest, so that by the end of November, the novel has to be at least 65,000. The extra 5,000 is “interest” for having something of a head-start. Fair enough? I hope so, because that’s what I’m doing.

I’ve been wracking my brain to decide which story to write. I have two that have been calling me for years, and all that time, the plots of both stories have been coming together. Actually, there have been three, but two of them I joined into one. It’s only been in the past few days that I’ve decided for sure which to write. It’s a Young Adult Fantasy book, and since it’s been grinding around in my mind for so long, it’s now the first in a series of at least four books, but probably more.

The one I decided against is an LDS fiction, and the reason I decided against it is because it involves a plane crash, wilderness survival, and a lost ancient culture, all of which will take a great deal of research – which is not ideal for Nanowrimo.

But I am really excited to finally write this one. It’s still intimidating approaching this one, because if it works right, It should have religious symbolic value similar to the Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve been carrying this story in me for awhile, forming characters, places, culture, and plot for a long time, and that’s why I feel ready to write it now.

Actually, another reason I’m excited to write it is that the places, species, and culture are based on stories, tales, and “mythology” that my family has been inventing for over twenty years. To my family who read this, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I mention that one of the pivotal lands in the book will be Yonder. Maybe if the story works, I can get Ria to illustrate it. 😀

Anyway, just wanted to give a heads up that if I seem to disappear for awhile, that’s why. I don’t want family time to suffer, so everything else (except work, of course), might.

See you December 1st!

SN: Episode 13

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(We apologize for our theme problems.  We’re in the process of getting them fixed.  If the audio doesn’t work properly, you can listen at http://chas.willowrise.com)

“Don’t be afraid!” the ghost said quickly, in a gentle voice, very unlike the violent tone he had used when he had last spoken to Matt.

For a moment Matt didn’t move, not sure whether to speak or run.  But before he could decide, the ghost said, “I’m sorry if I frightened you earlier – I should not have been so… abrupt.  But if you’ll give me a chance to explain, I think you’ll know why I did.  It was a mistake.”

“Who are you?” Matt asked, not sure whether to try to sound cautious or firm, “Why are you here?”

He walked closer to Matt, who again noticed that his footsteps made no sound.  But he was as vivid and real as any person, and his speech was clear, though he was now speaking low, almost in a whisper.

“My name is Nams Mourg, but you can just call me Mourg.  I have only been here a short time, but I have been watching you.”

Matt’s expression must have betrayed his thoughts, because Mourg said, “Oh, don’t worry.  I mean you no harm.  In fact, I am a friend.  I have only observed you enough to discover whether or not you could be trusted.  I am now confident that you can.”

Matt didn’t know whether or not he could believe Mourg, but what was he supposed to believe?  After all, he was speaking to a ghost, wasn’t he?

“You are here as… as a ghost, then?”

Mourg lowered his head.  “I am a ghost, of sorts, but I am not completely dead, either.  I’ll explain that in time, but yes, that is how I’ve been watching you.”

“Did you once live here?  Why are you here?”

Mourg shook his head.  He stared at Matt for a moment, as if deciding how much to tell him.  Instead of speaking immediately, he turned toward the living room.

“Perhaps we should sit.  We have a lot to talk about.”
“You are in great danger here,” Mourg said, sitting forward on the couch.

“Danger?  What kind of danger.”  Matt couldn’t help wondering how a ghost who walked through walls could sit on a chair without falling through.  Then again, shouldn’t he fall through floors, too?  He wanted to ask, but if ghosts were normally as sociable as this one, there was probably some kind of propriety issue involved with discussing what ghosts could and couldn’t do.

That thought made Matt wonder why ghosts seem to think it was acceptable to just come into people’s houses without invitation.  Didn’t they consider it trespassing?  But then, where would they go?  Certainly ghost culture would be quite different from living human culture.

Mourg stared at him.  His face was clear, and as Matt looked in his eyes, he felt an uncomfortable sensation.  Mourg looked quickly away.  “I hope you will come to trust me,” he said, “I know it must be strange for you to be talking to someone who… well, someone like me.  I understand.”

“What kind of danger am I in?”

“I’m sure you’ve never heard of Ions before?”  It was half statement, half question, and Mourg waited for a response.

“Only when you mentioned them earlier today.”

“They are pillagers.  They are constantly causing havoc and trouble.  But worse than that, they are organized and use strange magic to manipulate the world around them.  They are evil, and dangerous.”

Matt wondered if these Ions were ordinary people or ghosts.  They didn’t sound like a group Matt wanted to meet.  “What do you mean?  Who are they?  Where did they come from?”

“They call themselves Ions, but my people call them marauders.      They have a strange, twisted connection with animals, perhaps they are part animal.  They are from a distant land – a very distant land.  It would take some time to tell you everything, but know that they are both dangerous and powerful.”

“But what are they doing here?”

“I wish I knew for sure, but I can’t help thinking that you have something to do with it.”

“Me?” Matt asked, confused. “What connection would I have with them?”

At that moment there was a knock on the front door, and Mourg rolled back into the couch – IN to the couch.  Seeing it made Matt’s stomach turn over, and he hoped this was all some mistake that would clear up soon so he could get back to normal life.  Though completely out of site, Mourg’s voice was clear, “Remember, you’re in danger!  Do not trust anyone!  It could be Ion marauders, or a messenger.  Be careful!”

Matt opened the door slowly, ready to press it closed again if necessary.  When he recognized Alice from the library, he opened it further, but glanced behind his back. He didn’t want her to see Mourg, so he stepped out and pulled the door closed behind him.

“Hey!” he said, trying not to bump into Alice.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, backing up and nearly stepping off the porch, “I didn’t mean to interrupt anything.”

“What, oh, no, I was just… no, it’s fine.  How are you?  It’s Alice, right?”  He felt silly, though he wasn’t sure why.

She smiled, and nodded.  “And you’re Matt.  I hope it’s okay I stopped by.  I found something I thought you might find interesting.”

“About my Uncle’s books?”

“And Nigel.  I guess I could have waited until you returned, but I found something that I couldn’t wait to show you.  Do you have Internet access at home?”

“Yeah, what did you – oh, uh, I mean, we had the Internet.  It’s not offline, er, online  – it’s down.”  Why couldn’t he bring himself to tell her about the ghost?  Was he just trying to protect her, or was he afraid of sounding stupid in front of her?  He had already done that.  What if she was an Ion?  Mourg didn’t get the chance to tell Matt much about Ions before Alice came.  His first time meeting her was this morning.  Maybe she had been set there to get information from him, which he had just handed over.

But that didn’t make sense.  First off, what would his uncle’s books have to do with Ions?  Second, Alice had been at the library when he met her, and no one knew he was headed there.  But then there was that whole thing about her acting like she already knew him.

“Oh, that’s okay, I’ll just tell you,” she said, “ I was looking at Google Maps, and I – what’s wrong?”

Matt didn’t look at her.  He was staring across the street.  Then in a low tone, he said, “Don’t turn around, but there’s someone watching us.”

But he said it too late.  She had already turned, and the moment she moved, the figure ducked behind a bush.

“What?  I don’t see anyone.  Where?”

Because it was now sunset, Matt had only seen a silhouette, though Matt thought it had looked more like a boy than a man.

“Wait here, I’ll be right back.”  He looked at her.  Her face showed amusement.  Did she think he was being silly?  Of course she did, but what could he tell her?  If he was being watched, followed, or pursued by someone, he didn’t want her in danger too.  “It’s probably nothing, but Alice, if anything happens…”

Now her amusement turned to suppressed giggles.
“What?”

She laughed out loud, “I’m sorry Matt, I couldn’t help it. You’re just acting so dramatic!”  She leaned in, and with a playful tone, whispered, “Should I play along?  I could act frightened if you want.”

He stared at her blankly.  “What? No, I’m serious, Alice, we could be in danger!”  If there really was a kid watching them, Matt wanted to be able to recognize him, and identify him.  If it was just a neighbor kid, so be it, but if it was an Ion, how would he know it?

He looked at Alice, suddenly wishing she hadn’t come over, but not sure what to do with her now.  At least if she saw Mourg, she would realize that Matt wasn’t just being paranoid.  “I’ll be right back.”

He moved quickly from his yard into the street, thinking his best chance was to simply startle the kid and get a good look at him.  Matt knew if he didn’t hurry, all chance of finding him would be gone.  Was he a spy of some kind?  Or perhaps a decoy?  If so, then he’d better be careful, there could be others waiting.  Barely had the thought formulated when a horn blazed and Matt turned in time to see headlights.  There was a loud screech, and after a sudden momentary impact, everything went dark.

This entry is originally from…

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Episode 12

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Alice sat down behind the information desk, exhausted at the end of a full day.  In the early afternoon, a school class had come on a field trip to the library, and Alice was the only one available to give them a tour and read to them.  Then after school let out, one of the local scout troops had come for some merit badge… something.  Somehow it felt like she was catching up on everything else for the rest of the day.  But now it was 8 pm, the library was closed, and the doors were locked.  She slumped back in the chair, tempted to fall asleep right at the computer.

She looked down at a paper next to the keyboard.  She had nearly forgotten about her research on local history.  The sticky note had the names of the books Matt Robinson had brought in.

There was something strange about Matt.  When he had come in the library that morning, he had been dressed in an outfit that Alice would have described as being appropriate for a mountain-man, and he was accompanied by a young kid of ten or eleven.  His attitude had been very direct and determined, though she had assumed that he was a foreigner.  He acted like he’d never seen the inside of a library before, and was very conscious of everything happening around him.

But when he returned in the afternoon, he was Continue reading

The Synergetic Novel: Episode 11

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Matt stared at her.

“Actually, it’s been a lot of fun to research,” the librarian said.  “This has always been a curious little town to me.  My Grandparents grew up here and own a house nearby, so I’ve been to visit often throughout my life.  When my Grandpa passed away I offered to move in with Grandma so I could attend school here.  She’s really independent but she’s grateful for the company.”

A teenage boy stood by, waiting to check out some books.  “Oh, excuse me for a minute,” she said, turning to the boy.

Matt watched her.  She spoke to Matt as though she knew him well.  Was she just a very trusting person, or was she mistaking him for someone else?  And how did she know Continue reading

I Live in a Mansion

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talltab1I live in a mansion.  There are so many rooms, and so many doors, that it would take more than a lifetime to explore what is in them all.  From one room, I can explore the sciences, and watch the progression of the stars and planets.  I can chart the known universe and discover things that it has taken mankind centuries to understand.
talltab1 From another, I can learn the religions of the world, make connections with things divine, and come to a deeper understanding of why people are the way they are.
talltab1 From another, I can become my own symphony, and follow the practices of the master composers.  I can perfect the principles they have learned and carry them on to new levels.
talltab1 There is a room in my house where I can practice medicine and learn how the human body works.  In this room, I can also learn how to strengthen the powers within my own body through exercise, activity, proper nutrition and rest.
talltab1 In one of the larger wings of my mansion, I can enter a fantastic world with creatures and people that most people only meet in dreams and movies.  I can converse with them, and in essence, leave the world entirely through time machines and spaceships.
talltab1 I have rooms that bare the perfect resemblance of locations all around the globe.  I have been to Egypt, China, South America, and Africa without having to leave my home.
talltab1 In my favorite room, I have met the Savior and His prophets.  I have come to know God, and converse with Him regularly.  I have met Adam, Enoch, Abraham, and John the Baptist.  I have met the reformers and those who took part in the great restoration of the Gospel.
talltab1 I have visited many of the rooms in my mansion, and plan to visit many more.

talltab1 My house is small, and my means are meager.  But in every room, there are books.