Sunday, 10 December 2017

Preface: The Pilgrimage

The ship blinked into existence, streaking across the velvet-black of space. Its engines howled as it sped on toward its final destination. It was finally visible. After the long voyage, the goal was in sight.
The ship was nothing more than a speck against the titanic globe. Far out as they were, Decimus dwarfed most other known planets. Its untamed surface was divided. North and south were covered in vast sheets of ice, while the bulk of the planet was a broad band of harsh red and yellow. The celestial body was such a sight that it took even experienced travellers another look to see the strength of the Triumvirate. A mighty ring hung, built far above the planet’s surface, slowly orbiting Decimus. It would be likened to the natural phenomena only in the simplest of comparisons, for the most tertiary glance told all.
This marvel of design was more than a space station. It was more than the seat of real power in the galaxy. It was a symbol, of the wealth and the might of the vast Triumvirate.
‘We’re making final approach now.’
Kai-Ye Tu took a step forward, his hand resting on the back of the pilot’s seat. He let his eyes move across the form of the ring as it grew closer every moment. A sea of windows and docking bays covered the construction.
‘I’ve never seen anything like it…’
Kai-Ye glanced behind him, his eyes falling on his young companion. Like himself, Kai-Ye’s companion dressed in a long, black, hooded robe. His features were veiled in shadow, but Kai-Ye could see the wonderment on his young friend’s face.
‘It has more surface area than some planets,’ the pilot commented.
Kai-Ye inclined his head. ‘I forget that this is your first pilgrimage, Kariv.’
Kariv Wook smiled easily. ‘My… training has taken longer than others,’ he admitted.
Kai-ye nodded, looking his compatriot over once more. They were nearly the same height, and like himself, Kariv had the short black hair and dark eyes of the Hangul people. He shared a similar appearance to Kai-ye, too; beyond their similar attire. Perhaps there was some shared relation that the Order had not informed him of. It was possible, but rarely were relatives partnered together.
As far as Kai-ye knew, Kariv’s commission to him was on account of his advanced study.
‘When did you enter the Order?’ Kai-ye asked.
‘I was seven,’ Kariv announced, his eyes still locked on the looming disk surrounding Decimus.
Kai-ye suppressed a smile. ‘Thirteen years of training.’ He nodded. ‘You must be a powerful Mystic to have trained so long.’
Kariv turned at last. His eyes met Kai-ye’s. There was a subdued pride in them, but he checked it. He smiled politely and bowed his head. ‘I… hope to be of service to you,’ he said.
His lazy gaze drifting to the approaching Ring, Kai-ye nodded. ‘We will see,’ he said.
The ship made it’s final approach, weaving into landing bay 1183. There were five other craft within the entry portal. Mostly larger transports, with lines of travellers filing out of them.
As they landed, half a dozen steel-grey robots trundled forward on spindly legs toward their craft, pulling hosing and other repair tools in their wake.
The landing bay was a massive room with a towering vaulted ceiling. Everything was white, save the floor which was an iron-grey like the robots, scuffed and marked from years of use and abuse.
Kai-ye led the way down the small exit ramp of the ship, Kariv following just behind him. Across the vast landing bay, a small group stood waiting. He counted maybe a dozen people. Most wore robes of deep blue. Two, however, were dressed in the high collard white robes of State office. The older of the two, a white-haired man, smiled as they approached, bringing a hand to clasp the large gold medallion of office that hung from his neck.
The younger man just scowled, looking dejected.
‘Welcome, Master Tu,’ the older man laughed. ‘Welcome back to Decimus.’ He looked past Kai-ye’s shoulder, to the hooded form of Kariv. ‘And you have another Mystic with you?’
Kai-ye came to a stop just before the man, bowing slightly. He nodded and stretched a hand toward Kariv as he stopped at his side.
‘This is Kariv Wook,’ Kai-ye announced. ‘He has been assigned to the position of Sub-Master. He is my companion on this pilgrimage.’
Kariv bowed to the old man.
‘Welcome to you both.’ He steadied his gaze on Kariv. ‘I am Gaius Eiavus, defender of the Empire, and master of this station, this Triumvirate, and Decimus.’
‘Sub-Master Kariv Wook, and Master Kai-ye Tu of the Mystic Order. We come to Decimus, following the traditions of our Order, to see out that which must soon come to advent.’
Gaius smiled as he turned, leading them towards the left, and the exit of the landing bay. ‘You refer to the words of the Mystics? The foretold coming of a great hero.’
Kai-ye grunted in his throat and nodded. ‘It is assured to us. The life that ebbs and flows from Decimus gathers, and creates avatars. It always has, and always will, as long as the universe stands.’
‘Yes, I’m aware of your beliefs,’ Gaius smiled, waving his hand dismissively. ‘I have seen many of your people come and go from Decimus, always overjoyed to arrive, and crushed to leave.’ They reached the edge of the landing bay, and Gaius led them through a large door, that slid closed as they passed through it, into a hallway.
Windows lined the wall on their right. Many only looked into the landing bay, but as they moved further along the wide corridor, Kai-ye gazed out at a panoramic view of the sparkling blanket of space.
‘It is… rather interesting that you’ve arrived now, master Tu. Our robotic scouts have been scouring the surface of Decimus, near the Upper Reaches.’
‘No one has explored the ice fields of the Upper Reaches in over a thousand years,’ Kariv offered.
‘Yes, it’s a well-known fact that monstrous forms are living in the ice fields,’ Gaius nodded. ‘Call it Providence, if you want, but our last four expeditions have all returned, and on examination, they have divulged the most interesting findings…’
‘Such as?’ Kai-ye asked.
Gaius slowed to a stop, turning his gaze on Kai-ye. ‘Life…’ he said, a smile slowly touching the corners of his mouth. ‘Human life, in the Upper Reaches.’
‘Is this possible?’ Kariv asked.
Kai-ye turned to his companion. He considered how to answer. ‘If it is true, it’s…’ he hesitated, ‘significant.’
‘Yes!’ Gaius smiled. ‘I should say it is. None of the Mystics in the past thirty years have thought to search the Upper Reaches, have they?’
‘It has been… Forbidden,’ Kai-ye said.
‘Because of the last creature that was brought out of the ice waists. Because of Arak.’
Again, Kai-ye cleared his throat.
Gaius smiled and placed a hand on his shoulder. ‘I’m not here to discuss dark histories, Kai-ye. I welcome the Mystics to Decimus, as I have done for five decades. The past is past, and the future is bright. Come, let us retire to my conference chambers. We will take a look at your desired itinerary.’

Friday, 1 December 2017

Cycle I
Specter of Fate

The seat of power in all known space lies at the centre of a timeless mystery.

Ancient texts speak of a powerful warrior promised to be born of the unforgiving planet.

As mistrust grips the galaxy, two members of the Mystic Order has arrived at Decimus to complete their hallowed Pilgrimage.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

New Adventure

This Forge has been offline for long enough.

Things have changed, and stories have grown out of my own control, morphing situations demand different boundaries. What once was, may not be again. What has not come to pass, soon will.

A lot of cryptic malarky, right?

Fair enough.

How about a new adventure? Let's start from scratch. Let's get some stories out there. Visit some new horizons, shall we? I have something for you. It's not far off, but it will take you far away. There are mysteries to be explored, and villains to be overcome. There is a long journey to be undertaken, but it all has to start somewhere.

Let's start it here.

1st December 2017.

Sunday, 16 April 2017


As I've been forging ahead on my next project, I've found the process of plotting a lot harder than it has been in the past. Part of this, of course, is due to the nature of my next project. It's new, you see. Unlike the last few things I've been writing, I am creating a brand new property for myself. As it stands, the last three things i've written have been quite established.

First it was Tales by Lantern-Light 2. The fifth book written in the world of Jack Lantern. So, I know the world quite well, and I really know the characters. It was slow going in a few places, but I was never really stuck. Next was Shadow Mountain book 3. It's been a long time getting back to that world, but again... I knew everyone and everything involved in it. Then there was The Wishcharmer Saga volume 2. It's still relatively new, but I knew the direction I wanted to push things.

Now I start my new project. It's a kind of story I've wanted to write for years. As is the next project I'm scheduled to work on. There are good base characterss ready to go, there is a general direction... There's the basic building blocks... Then, as I start forward... Pffhhht.


I kept struggling. Every time I thought I had something figured out, it would start to fall apart. Crumbling before me. I'd get excited, then watch as that passion for the plot rotted away. It was disheartening. I started doing more research, but everything I did seemed to push me further and further away from the kind of story I had set out to tell. Slowly I started to think... Maybe I should just shelve this, and move onto the next thing. This isn't working, so why force myself?

In writing, I think there are two tenancies that people fall into.

Well, I think there are a bajillion that writers fall into... But I want to point out two that I know I fall into sometimes. With this project, it brought it to the front of my mind.

For me, the biggest problem I faced was overthinking things.

We do it in life, we do it in writing.

I started obsessing over things in my plotting. Little things, that didn't even matter to the story as a whole. I started pushing myself away from the story I wanted to tell because I thought A and B wouldn't be able to equal C or D. I thought the reality of my story would fall apart in my eyes, as well as the eyes of the reader. I thought my ideas for the story weren't thought out enough.

Now, I'll admit right off that I'm not the deepest thinker in the writing game. I don't spend ten months researching the fashion of the Tudors so I can write about their decedents two-hundred years down the line, with some little accuracy.

Nope. I write pulp fiction. I write action-adventure stories. I write fantasy stories. Now, this isn't to say that I don't, or I shouldn't think deeply about what I'm building, and putting down on paper... But in the same breath, I shouldn't overthink what I'm writing. In fantasy, in action-adventure, I have to remember what my goals are. That's true of any writer in any genre. First and foremost, I want a story I enjoy. I want it to entertain me, and others. Entertainment is my business. If I can't accomplish that, then what does all the writing get me?

In the case of my story, I had to come to a realization that I was trying to do too much with the story. I was focusing too much on little things. I was moving away from character, plot, and entertainment, for things that, in my kind of story-telling, did me no little good.

So, with a bit of frustration, and hopefully a little humility, I stripped everything back down to by basic building blocks I had had for months. Those were still good. But I had to start again. I had to launch from the right head-space. There was no point in me trying to write an exciting action adventure story if it wasn't going to be adventurous, exciting or action...y.

Now, with a new perspective, I'm back to work. I have to tell you, that work is beginning to fall into place much better. I'm far happier with the plot, and the characters are able to act as they were meant to. They can breathe and really excel in their roles. I have a good feeling about this. I think I may be onto making the kind of story I set out to do. No more overthinking things. I'm focused on the feeling, the adventure... Everything else falls into place when I have an eye on the destination.

Now, there's another pitfall I have to watch out for: Underthinking.

But that's a discussion for another time. For now, I'm just going to focus on thinking. Not underthinking or overthinking. Just thinking.

...I think.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Moving Forward

As the writing of The Wishcharmer Saga Volume 2 comes to a close, I have to look forward. Then, in kind, I will have to move forward. That doesn't mean leaving Wishcharmer behind. No, it only moves into a new stage of production. But that's something you probably already knew. With the first draft done, I'm off to the readers. These people get the first look at the story and give me some feedbacks. That's the junk I need. With that, I can fix stuff, tighten it up, and make the story better.

So, that's where Wishcharmer Volume 2 is headed. After that, it enters the dreaded stage. The one that Shadow Mountain Book 3 is in right now.


Yes, it's the absolute worst part of writing. But it has it's place. That place is far away from me... Where I can't smell it. Because it stinks, you see. Or... Smell...

Anyways... It's a thing.

So, what do I do while I'm pushing my story through the next few stages? Well, I have to commission some art for the book, and then there is the inevitable. Moving forward. Yes, there will be a poop load more Wishcharmer to come, and yes, I am moving towards that. But my sights are set on yet another adventure at present. A new adventure.

I know this blogé has sorta gone off the rails... And I know I said I would get it back on said rails... But I didn't.



Anyways... What was I talking about?

... ... ... ...

RIGHT! New adventure! WHat I am going to do is start taking you through the process of my writing. Of course, I won't be able to have you everywhere. That would spoil the story. But I will be updating you more... HONEST!

There are two projects I will be working on over the next couple months. Then it's a scheduled return to a dear old friend... With an orange head.

For now, I have two great projects sitting before me. The first of these is a type of story that I've always loved. If I can pull it off, it will be something special. I'm just now entering what you'd call the pre-production faze. This is where I'm casting the story with characters, and building the plot and what not. But that will be in another post. Soon...


Here's looking forward to a new adventure, and having you along for the ride.

--Post Script--

There are updates coming on the production of Wishcharmer Volume 2. I won't keep you completely in the dark on that score, you know. Art, characters, cover, and release... Look for it all here!
Really... It will be here.

Friday, 30 December 2016

The Wishcharmer Saga Update: Plotting The Second Saga

My wife will be happy to read this.

I am feeling a little crazy with all the stories I plan to get going this year, and I know it will be hard to get all of it done. I must say it's exciting, though. It feels like a really long time since I've been able to slip into this world. That's a shame to me, because I think it's a cool place to be. I really dig the characters, and the magic system gets me excited. Of course, I'm talking about the Wishcharmer Saga. If you didn't know that, I'm sorry to say you may not know what you're reading.

Well, rest assured, I think I know what I'm writing. And I am writing. Well, plotting, actually. I love and hate plotting. On the one hand, it's a cool way to get the story down. It's fulfilling because it's like a shorthand of your novel. There is a lot of joy that comes to you as you see the story take shape. On the other hand, once your story is forged, you still have to write it.

So, this is where I am at the moment...

Not very far, as you can see...

But the plotting has commenced.
I have general ideas for what happens in this book, and a few that follow it. I am mulling over the grand picture whenever I get a chance, and as always, this story excites me. The problem with plotting it is becoming apparent, though. I'm doing something with the Wishcharmer Saga that I've never done before. I'm trying to craft an epic that's easily accessible. Sort of a Manga without pictures. There are a lot of pieces I need to place, and they all have to work together.

When I left the story last, the heroes had just defeated a major villain. Now, at the commencement of the second saga, things need to pick up steam. So, I have been trying to get the structure right. Here's the thing... The book opens with a celebration. Rajhu, however, doesn't feel there is much to celebrate. To him, he's more trapped now than before.

It's a character scene to open the second book. I hope to make it exciting to read, but I often worry about slower scenes. I have a tendency to want to make something blow up in dialogue scenes. Sometimes these characters get talking and I get a little trigger-happy...

Well, if I can manage to get them through their talking without blowing up the building they're in, the adventure should begin shortly.

Sorry for the weird update. I'm still trying to figure out the format for all of this...

Wishcharming you a Happy New Year with lots of Adventure!


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Behind the Scenes Series Part One: Casting a Story

Myth-Smith has been out of commission for a while, but that changes now!

I intend this place to be hopping from this moment forward! I don't want to make any grand promises about how often I post, but I will generally be trying to get something up every other day. It may be short, it may be long... but by thumb, I am really gonna try to have it up here. So, as you may have noticed, this isn't Wishcharmer. Well, don't fret on that score. There is more Wishcharmer coming next year, but what I am going to do is take you along for the process on how I write it. I know there are a lot of people telling how they write, but I'm not going to tell how YOU should write. I am just opening up my compy-screen for you to see what I do. You may not like it. You might hate it with a passion that burns deeper orange than the lava rivers of Mustafar, but that's okay. That's on you, ya crazy person!

Anyway, today is going to be the first in a whole lot of content coming your way. This first part is about a process I use to get me going when I start a book. I don't always use it, but when I'm having trouble, it's one of my go to things. Maybe everyone does this, but again, I am just telling you what I do, and opening up the conversation.

So, when I get working on a book, I start building the story and everything, but when I finally get to the fun part... I mean the writing ... I sometimes have difficulty getting the characters moving. Sometimes they just aren't there. This becomes a problem for me, since I kinda need these folks to exist for anything to be worth it. So, to get these people on the page, I sit down and start to picture the story in my head. I am a visual dude, and I think of my stories like a movie or a TV show. I see it play out in my head like that, and then I try my hardest to capture what I see. Because I write like this, I like to have a clear picture of my characters. I want to be able to see their faces, hear their voices, know how they would lean up against a wall when they talk to an old friend.

So I cast my book. I cast the heroes and villains from the vast catalog of actors and actresses that I've had the joy of watching.

This can be a tricky thing, because I don't necessarily want  Air America Robert Downey Jr. walking around my story. What I do want is a character that lives and breathes in my world. So, I may ask Robert Downey Jr. to step into the role. Once cast, that character leaps to life in my mind, and in a few short scenes, they begin to grow past that casting and begin to blossom into their own person, who knows the story and they world the inhabit.

That, to me, is the amazing part. It feels so good, and I almost feel like Doctor Frankenstein. As I add a spark of life to my inanimate character, they rise from nothing into a majestic beast! ...Hopefully without all the other stuff that goes along with Frankenstein. I am really hoping so, anyway! I don't wanna die at the hands of Jack Lantern, or Rajhu or Will... And then I don't want them to go drown a girl in a lake or something... That would be... Bad...

Anyway, that's that! Just a glimpse of what is to come. Hopefully I will be more entertaining in future outings together. Maybe if I wore a tie... rode an elephant bareback, with no shirt, chopping wood... With a chariot of fire breathing pigs, all named Stanley.


Let me know if any of you do something similar. Writing or reading, do you tend to put a familiar face and voice to the character?

Peace out, peeps!