Teaser et al

There’s a funny thing about plans, you know —

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men

Gang aft agley,

An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,

For promis’d joy!

— Excerpt from “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough”, Robert Burns, 1785

— they have this way of “often going awry”, despite best intentions and preparations. The series I promised, Challenges, has not gotten off of the ground yet. (It will eventually — I think.)

However, I have not been sitting idly upon my palms! As you can see, I’ve updated my website. I had two motivating reasons for this: first, my old website design was slow. It was loaded with jQuery and Ajax and other technology with ‘j’ names, and it took forever to load. The new design should load much quicker and cleaner; please let me know if it does not.
The second reason, however, was in some ways more compelling. My first novel, To the Water, We Are Gods, will be released in a couple of weeks, and to celebrate I plan to post it — in its entirety — here on my website. (It won’t be all at once, of course, but the entire thing will eventually be available for free.) Unfortunately, the design I had was not very good for reading lots of text, either. It looked cool, and showcased my artwork beautifully, but it just wasn’t accomplishing the full breadth of what I wanted. Here’s hoping that this new design works better. Let me know what you think!

Finally, to whet your appetite for the novel, here’s a short excerpt — the teaser I promised:

The dragon roared past with deafening volume, and Gabriella watched as its flame washed over the figures that had not been as quick as her. Insubstantial flesh crackled and blackened as if real, and the ghosts cried out in pain as they vanished within liquid inferno and deadly heat. A woman near the edge glanced back, and Gabriella could see her face twist with fear. The woman’s gaze tracked from the dragon to Gabriella; their eyes touched, and suddenly the woman lunged. She pushed hard against her companion – a small boy – and he went flying. Then the woman was gone, consumed by the endless lines of torrential flame pouring from the dragon’s mouth.

The child landed on his feet, stumbled, and fell; Gabriella could hear his sad wails of fear and loss as the dragon rose away from the surface of clouds. Flames danced around it like a cloak, and it started a long, lazy arc that would carry it back around for another pass. Gabriella watched it warily, then looked back at the castle. She was close enough now to see the front gate – the door was open and inviting. Surely such a resplendent structure could withstand anything the dragon could muster against it. Surely she would be safe there, if she could just get inside.

Behind her, the child’s cries had softened to sobs, but the sound carried easily through the still air. She sighed, and let her head drop. “I can’t help you, kid,” she said, trying to justify it to herself. “My magic won’t work, and I don’t think that dragon is going to let me talk him to death.” The kid cried louder, and although Gabriella couldn’t understand his words, she understood that he was calling for help.

“Kid, I…” she shouted, then struck the soft ground with a fist. “Damn it all!” She was already up and running towards him.

I hope to see you back in a couple of weeks for the first section!


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