Charleston

ah, those people

kneeling in a circle of light

and the feather-crown beast

came and sat

and waited and

thought a bit

then broke the circle

and spilled the people

then fled

another temple desecrated.

part of me wants

to have known

to have been there

to have cried out

a warning this time.

but i was not

but i was

but i am

but please hear me say

it is coming

it is gone

my heart rings like a stone bell

and you all, in the circle of light

i’m crying and you don’t hear me

and that is as it is

but i am here

and the clack-clack bird is flown

and we remain

and you remain

and the circle of light still shines

and i am crying for you out here in the dark

I Explain My New Publishing Deal to Aragorn, the Cat Who Lives With Me.

“Aragorn!” I screamed as I ran up the steps of our porch, feet pounding up to our front door. “Aragorn!!!! It happened! It. HAS. HAPPENED.”

I slammed the door behind me, remembering to throw the bolt – it doesn’t shut properly if you don’t throw the bolt, and when Train rumbles by the door can pop open — allowing the Dogs to wreak a very limited havoc on the neighborhood. My words echoed in the house and then fell quiet.  My Beloved and the dogs were out on a walk and the black and white cat was in the backyard absorbing solar radiation. It should just be me and Aragorn in the house. Is he asleep? I think I yelled pretty loud. I prepared to venture further, to face the lion in his lair, when at last his magnificent orange frame sauntered into view.

Aragorn

Aragorn

“What.”

“Oh, hey. Hey, Aragorn. Were…were you asleep? I mean, I can tell you about this later, if you were, you know, asleep.”

The orange tail lashed and he said nothing.

“Okay, I was just very excited because I’ve got my first publishing deal and I wanted to tell you about it.”

Aragorn blinked, then slowly uncoiled himself, heading back for his favorite nap spot.

“No! It’s a really cool thing! I won a contest and now I’m getting published by Inkshares and I’m going to be on Sword & Laser and –”

The orange cat stopped and looked back over his shoulder with disgust. “There’s no way you’re going to let me go back to sleep until you tell me about this, is there?”

I bounced on one foot, vibrating with pent up excitement. Aragorn sighed and curled back up in a nearby sunbeam. He flicked his whispers in a way that signified if not submission then at least grudging consent. I sat down next to him with my legs crossed. We sat together, him in the sun, me respectfully folding my hands and preparing my tale.

Aragorn opened one eye. “Did you fall asleep?”

“Snrrr..no! It’s just been a relentless couple of months okay, I was just taking a brain-pause.”

The orange cat closed his eye.

Inkshares is a publisher, an honest to god book publisher – but they’re trying to do something different. They crowdfund books – a little like Kickstarter, but with a guaranteed product. If you can convince 1000 people that you have a cool idea for a book, they will publish that book. Professional editor, professional marketing, professional cover design, the works – and it’ll be in bookstores. For real. Like I don’t have to personally deliver them myself and sweet-talk the staff. I heard about them a few months ago when Sword & Laser interviewed Gary Whitta.” I jabbered. “I had already been poking around the site – kicking the tires as it were – trying to decide if it would be a good fit for me and my next book. But then, out of nowhere they announce this contest.”

“Contest?” the cat didn’t quite sneer.

“A contest sponsored by Sword & Laser! It started in April and ran through the end of May. The top five fantasy and science fiction campaigns on the site with the highest pre-order counts would all be published – even if they didn’t hit the 1000 book goal. I thought about it for ten whole minutes before I jumped in. It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. It was too many coincidences! I had never even heard of Inkshares until the podcast, and now the podcast was running a fricking contest for fantasy novels and I WRITE FANTASY NOVELS. I had already setup a ‘dummy’ campaign with very basic information – in a frantic hour or two I field-dressed it and set it to launch.”

“What’s the book called?”

“Uh. I mean. I think we’ve agreed to disagree before about my style, so –”

“What. Is the stupid. Book. Called. Human.”

Asteroid Made of Dragons…?”Asteroid

Aragorn arched his back and hissed at me.  I held up both hands, hoping to placate him. “Yes, yes – I know. But you see, I won. I won Aragorn. It took a lot of amazing people helping me out and Inkshares amending the contest rules right at the end to factor in unique readers as well as pre-order totals. But I’m getting a book published. It is happening. It’s happening, Aragorn!”

The cat lowered his spine and plopped back on the floor – or at least the most graceful version of a ‘plop’ that can exist. I kept going, hoping he wouldn’t mind the excited spittle flying across the room.

“And on top of that I get to be in the Sword & Laser Collection. I get to be interviewed on the podcast. It’s come full circle or something. I also have to write a whole hell of a lot in the couple of months to get the manuscript done and I think I may have some sort of anxiety-related tic forming in my left eye – but I get to see my work in hardback. I…I…I…”

Aragorn stretched with boredom. “You realize this is only interesting to you? It’s nice that you tricked a bunch of friend and strangers into helping you, but I fail to see what this could possibly mean for me?”

Cats ruin everything. “I mean, we’ve just talked so much about the other books, i thought you’d be excited.”

“Yay.”

“Okay – okay, I get it,” I got up from the floor and skulked away.

The Best Thing

Banana-2

In the middle of all this madness, I get a new review for my first book.

And, as I’ve learned, my core demographic is 11 years old.

austin2What I liked about Spell/Sword is that when Rime and Jonas get of jail and fight the crystal frog and I also liked when they fought the grey witch and the assassin also that there’s a sword that is magic and can take away Rime’s magic also when she uses magic it damages her health and her power is unstoppable and Jonas on the run for murder.

Austin Sigman – Age 11

Yup. That’s what I like about Spell/Sword too. I can’t wait for him to read The Riddle Box and AMOD.

I’m being very terse because this took a kind of crappy stressful day and made it awesome. I don’t wear happy well.

Thank you so much for reading, Austin!

Addressing the Troops

in: Schweizerische Monatsschrift DU, August 1948.

in: Schweizerische Monatsschrift DU, August 1948.

[I wrote this as a backer update for my Inkshares campaign of Asteroid Made of Dragons — and I kind of liked it. I’m always trying to express my goals in some fashion or another, and I liked the word-shapes I came up with this time, so here you go.]

Good afternoon you feckless rabble, you hard-hearted convoy of bright-eyed adventurers.

We’ve picked up quite a few new followers – shamans, bladewalkers, puppeteers, guys named Chuck. My army grows with potency and I sip from a goblet of purest obsidian in vile pleasure.

Because this is the secret – this is the thing that books do, the invisible machinery of Purpose. It brings human minds together – across space and time and race and rhyme. It brings them together like little fireflies – little droplets of human energy floating in the dark. The more we gather the brighter that light becomes – doubling and redoubling like a dynamo, like thunder rumbling its way across the heavens.

The big Books? The ones out there with thousands or millions of readers – they burn like tiny suns, whole skies full of fire. Flame that sings across memory and dreams, powering the machines, turning the drill.

The drill? What drill? The drill that turns, breaking down the wall between our old gray world and the brighter worlds on the Other Side.

That’s my job, every author’s job, really. To walk along the edge of this world, tapping at the wall. And when you find a crack – when you smell something sweet or dark or evil or bright – some color on the other side you put your hand on it. You put your hand on it and you start to holler. Because you don’t want to lose it! Anything but lose the scent, the tiny little weak place in the dimensional barrier. And then you write – you write what’s on the other side, and if you’re very very lucky – readers come. With the real power, the real human energy — and if you get enough of them, you can break through.

We can break through. One day… one day. The Other worlds are out there and I can see mine — one day we’ll break on through and slip away.

Maybe this is a weird goal to post here? Chuck looks like he’s having second thoughts.

So thank you – is what I’m kind of saying – thank you for this small bonfire that we’ve built. May it guide others to our banner.

Have a great El Seis de Mayo! If you were unaware, it is officially the Greatest Day of the Year.

Sic Semper Tyrannosaur,

Derek

6587_akira_hd_wallpapers

Two Free Books and One Asteroid (Made of Dragons)

I’m giving my books away this week – in hope that you will think about helping me reach my dreams and pre-order my new book. I put out the first two all on my own – now I’m working with Inkshares.com – a crowd-source publisher and their Sci-Fi / Fantasy Contest sponsored by Sword and Laser. Normally I would have to get 1000 pre-orders to get my book published – but in this contest the top 5 campaigns by the end of May all get published. For a raggedy self-publishing scamp like me, it’s the chance of a lifetime.

So here we are! I’ve gone through my friends and contacts online and begged, lied, pleaded, wept, and cajoled. And, almost unbelievably,  so many of them have stepped up to support me. But now I have to convince you – total stranger – to take a chance on my new book Asteroid Made of Dragons.

So I want to meet you half-way — I want to give you my first two books for free.

Kindle Version – FREE – May 4th – May 8th

spell_sword_cover_final

front_cover

There they are – the fruits of my brain garden – please take them.  You can learn more about each here and via the reviews on Amazon. The short version is: if you are a huge dork, well I pretty much wrote these books specifically for you.

And now, your part of the bargain! Because we have entered into some sort of bizarre internet blood-pact – bang a gong and summon the lukewarm spirits. The link to campaign page for the third book is below. Take a look! It’s another adventure for my heroes Jonas and Rime – but fret not! I write episodic fantasy – not epic – like any good episode of X-Files or Sherlock Holmes investigation, you will be provided with the minimum required knowledge to enjoy the adventure du jour. There are a couple of sample chapters already up of the third book, but if you enjoy those FREE BOOKS I JUST GAVE YOU – the third book will not disappoint.

Asteroid

ASTEROID MADE OF DRAGONS – PRE-ORDER ONLY 8.99!

  • Pro-Tip: If you sign up for Inkshares itself, they give you a $5 credit – which you can use towards my book!

Well – I guess that’s it? I don’t know quite what else to tell you, stranger. You are on my blog now, so there’s a metric ton of my other ramblings, short stories, and other errata – plus I just GAVE YOU TWO FREAKING BOOKS.

This is always where I come a little unglued at self-promotion. You have no reason to help me – but I hope you do! Even if you decide not to pre-order – maybe you know some people that would like some free books – or maybe people who would really like to help a book about a nuclear winter caused by a meteor crammed full of mythological creatures get published.

There are those people, right?

Leave comments here if you have questions, concerns, or burning rages — or come burn me down @gderekadams on Twitter.

Here’s a picture of a banana:

Banana-2

Tweet Poet

Design Sketch - Mike Groves @poopbird

Design Sketch – Mike Groves @poopbird

So here’s a thing I did on Twitter this afternoon. Yes, I am very weird.

Check out ‘s Asteroid Made of Dragons on : Would you be so kind, Twitter? Must I convince you?

Okay – – here’s the deal, written in words heavier than steel.

Books have I written, two by the count. With goblins and wizards of no little amount.Asteroid

Of Jonas and Rime, squire and wild mage, two travellers filled with stupidity and rage.

I wrote them myself, tap tap at my desk, then sent them to fly on a self-published quest.

It was fun, it was grand, my fiction did sizzle. But the slow creak of Time makes my energy fizzle.

I stared at the walls of Publishing’s grove, to climb it seemed worse than Plath’s head in a stove.

Patience and skill you need to make it for reals, I’m twitchy and tricksome, no match for these wheels.

Then one day did tell, a miraculous new site both potent and fell.

A place called , cute name all in all, they had a new way of brick-breaking the wall.

If enough friends I could trick, wheedle or sell, then my third book would be published like casting a spell.

Crowd-funding! Pre-orders! Kickstarter but more! Guaranteed results like robbing a store!

So to those who read these couplets that rhyme, could I perhaps wheedle a bit more of your time?

Take a look at my book, I hope you adore – and if I’m quite honest , I hope you’ll do more.

Click the button, bang the gong, let everyone know! Asteroids are coming with mother fucking dragons in tow!

So here is the link, thank you for reading. I hope you can find your wallet despite your eyeballs both bleeding.

Nothing is tagged and my followers few, perhaps these lines could get a RT or two?

Time Must Needs

Artist: Pavel Kolomeyets.

Artist: Pavel Kolomeyets.

You say that it has been six years. And I nod.

The wheel turns and April 25th comes again and I am thankful for the rain. It should always rain. It was sunny then, that day was beautiful. That day is beautiful – sun-yellow and sky-blue. I say is and was all mixed up because time must needs move backwards. But it will not. If only my will could make it so.

Maybe I am making it rain. Maybe it can always rain. So easy in my mind to go back, why can not I compel Time to come with me? Why not pull Time back with me when I go and cover that day with Rain? But it will not. That day is sun-bright, will always be beautiful. I go again and again and the sun still shines.

Time must needs. Must needs move. Backwards. But it will not.

It only moves forward. Like a river it only moves downstream. I get farther and farther away past other days and graves and waves and love. I learn and forget and dream and wake. You tell me that it has been six years and I nod.

Time must needs. I must needs. Must needs move backwards.

Time is not my servant as much as I write it. No magic or will can bend the river into a better shape. It helps to pretend that the Rain comes at my bidding, so today I will have it so.

So today I say I love you. I say it with grey clouds and black skies. I say I love you all with Rain. May it fall until this day is over.