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AMOD Deleted Scenes

I know! Weird that I’m not posting my odd rap lyrics, I’m actually posting something tangentially related to one of my books.  During the editing process of Asteroid Made of Dragons there were tons of refinements and changes made – but only two actual scenes that were cut. My editor wisely advised me that they slowed down the pace and distracted from the main narrative.

“But they’re META!” I whined.

Well, I think we all know how that conversation went. But! I thought it might be fun to pull those cut scenes up off the floor and let you take a gander. No real spoilers for the plot of AMOD, as these scenes feature the players from the framing sequence.

Enjoy!


Cut from Intermission One

Vincent let his wooden sword fall back on his shoulder and the matching shield decorated with tin dangle from his long fingers. The tall actor cocked his head to one side for a moment, and then turned to Sand.

“I’m sorry to interrupt our rehearsal,” he said with tenterhook grace. “But I’m afraid I’m a bit confused.”

Toby, wearing ram’s horns on his brow and a tattered red cloak around his shoulders dropped the fierce stance he held and squatted down on his heels. He crossed his arms and nodded in agreement.

“Yes?” the bald leading player replied, his eyes down in his copy of the script.

“Well, it’s just that — so far there have been plenty of scenes of the Paladin chasing the Demon, or the Demon fleeing the Paladin, and now we’re at the end of the Act and the two are having their first real fight,” the tall man’s tone was careful.

Sand pawed back through the first pages of the folio, then nodded, his attention still elsewhere. “Yes, that’s right.”

“So, what I was wondering is…what does the Sage have to do with it?”

“What?” Sand looked up at last, eyes focusing on his players.

“Well, we have our scenes and you have yours – but the characters never seem to meet. And nothing that happens in your scenes seem to have anything to do with ours?” Vincent looked to Toby for affirmation, the horned blonde man grunted in agreement. “I mean, what is the Sage even doing? I mean, they’re nice scenes, lots of speeches for you

Toby snickered, quite demonically.

“…but what does the Great Evil the Sage uncovers have to do with the Hero?” Vincent held his wooden sword out, the gilt-paint was chipped. “What is this ‘Dark’ that you keep mentioning?”

“A natural question, it is sure.” Sand stood up and clapped his hands together. “But let us keep reading, all will become clear ere the curtain falls, I promise you. Now, onto the next scene. This is a scene for our Demon – he has found his way to the edge of the garden where the Sacred Fountain is hidden. All he must do is find his way within. Soon he is surprised by the Paladin once more, hot on his heels.”
The slight rise in the older actor’s voice left little doubt about his interest in entertaining further criticism of the text. Toby and Victor looked at each other, then shrugged. The tall actor left the playing space, finding a shady spot near the wagon. Toby straightened his horns and cape and flipped through the folio until he found the correct place to begin.


Cut from Intermission Two

“Abscond!” Sand howled the Sage’s lines with eerie vigor, his hands wracked with quivering torment. “You foul Paladin and fouler Demon! I speak the truth and you toss it behind you like offal on the midden heap. If you heed not my warning, then flee. Flee through the verdant bows of the glade and the forgetful arms of Night and disappear to the far Edges of the City.”

“I hear your warning and I heed it,” Vincent held his Hero’s Sword high, “But I follow a greater charge. This Demon must die, by my hand or none. This is my battlefield, my war with the Shadow. You speak of a greater Darkness, one that no single mind can comprehend, no single heart can bear. I can bear this, I can fight this foul Creature before me. This is where I will stand, sword at the ready.”

Toby nodded, then reached under his demon’s horns to scratch an itch.

Sand looked at the handsome player. Toby looked back. Vincent waggled his eyebrows with portent at his lover. Toby arched his eyebrows back. Sand dropped the perfect Agony Tree Pose he had held throughout the scene and pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed.

“It’s your line, Toby,” the bald man tapped his own copy of the script.

“Yeah, I know,” Toby put his horns back on and smoothed his golden hair back into place.

“You’re not even looking at the script,” Sand crossed his arms.

The blonde Demon shrugged and flipped through the folio with desultory interest. Vincent lowered his sword and leaned on it, long face concerned. “Is something wrong Toby?”

“I don’t want to play the Demon,” the blonde man said, staring pointedly at a square of blank ground slightly to the left of Sand’s feet.

“Why not?” Sand replied, keeping his tone level and soothing.

“It’s no fun. I’m always lurking or crying about something or killing things in fits of passion. Even that one scene where the maid tries to give me the bread I just spent most of the time yelling at her.” Toby sulked.

“Is it…” the leading player made a diplomatic hand gesture, fitting for a queen’s herald. “…is it that you think the audience won’t like you?”

“That must be tough,” Vincent murmured, but Sand shot him a quick glance to silence the tall man.

Toby shrugged and stared at the floor.

“You haven’t read ahead in the script, have you?”

“What?” Toby met the troupe leader’s eyes.

“The last act? You haven’t read it yet, have you?” Sand tapped his copy of the folio again.

“No – why? Do I do something cool?” the patchwork Demon began to flip through the pages with renewed interest.

Sand folded the play between his hands and spoke with professorial elan. “The spine of this script is the hound of Sin. The Paladin’s murder of his mentor in Act One – Scene Two, the Demon’s reckless slaughter at Marwell Abbey, the Sage’s return of that library scroll a full two months past the appointed due date — all transgressions that haunt the characters throughout the events of the play. The things we do to forget, the lies we tell ourselves to mask the truth, we scrub and scrub at the stone but the chisel-marks we can not erase.”

Vincent nodded with understanding, but Toby only shrugged again. “So?”

Sand lowered the jaws of his trap gracefully. “And in all the plays, all the lives we’ve lived in the Twilight Kingdom, how has any character ever washed clean their slate?”

Toby stared down at the script as if struck by lightning. “Shit and beetle-balls, we’re all going to die aren’t we?”

Sand returned to his anguished pose and nodded to the Demon to take his cue. Actors cannot resist a proper death, no more than cats can pass milk or hedgehogs leave a cinnamon bun.

I know! So META. Painful to cut.

hermes2

Supplies

unlikely and tritely
and measures of soup
who knows the ketchup man
when he’s covered in goop?

stop in the rain and pound in the sun
my heart is a rolodex and the time never runs
frank like my idol, can’t scratch the vinyl
keep chattering and nattering i say when the mix is final

worlds like birds that flap and then are silent
i hunger for the wonder but feel only the violent
blood that spills and pumps through my caustic veins
brown earth choking and the black water all that explains
my inability or responsibility to mutter more matter then one or zero
flashing on my screen, hoping that this syllabic construct’s the hero
i duck and dive and stay alive
slurp down the sugar and wander through the bee jive
is it me or my environment
that remembers where the echoes went?
did i make this place or did I make this face
or do i face this place so i can contemplate disgrace?

same rhyme same story
don’t care, cut me Hal’s piece of glory
sinner covetous, young man grown older thus
howl at the moons and remember the brittle trust
i once had for the turn of the page
the child’s love for the step on the stage
the horizon never dies and Vash never lies
but i’m left in ash running short on supplies
burn out the heart but leave me the rest
nothing in here but rubble that’s double blessed
hold and hold and hold and hold
name of the game and the player’s old
but still i remember a long way from december
the sun is hot and can lead to distemper
i chase down the beat and dream through the heat
singsong radiation keeps me humming in the street

i’m coming home
always back to where you start
unlock the clock
and tell this shaman where to park
brown and gray a song of the elder days
turn up the radio and hope that tune still plays
singing in the dark pines
hoping that I have the time
press me in brick and I’ll paint you in steel
quiet is kept when the Future’s Past is real

Design Sketch - Mike Groves @poopbird

A Servant of What?

“What did it want?” Coracle asked.

“I’m still not sure,” the mage rubbed her tired eyes. “To destroy, clearly. But it seemed important that we destroy ourselves, that our own hands, our own works be our undoing. It claimed it was a servant.”

“A servant of what?” Sand asked quietly.
“The Dark.” Rime shrugged. “Whatever vague, nebulous thing that is.”

-excerpt from The Riddle Box

I haven’t felt moved to say much about Orlando. I’m not going to question that lack of impulse – better voices than mine have spoken and will speak.  And this is something I talk about a lot, whether I wish it or not. It’s not hard to squint when you’re reading The Riddle Box and figure out what I’m talking about.

So, I’ve said what I thought before – but today I don’t have anything to say. But, I also didn’t want to let it go unmarked. I may not speak, but I will listen. I will see and I will remember.

ink

Ink is Poison

ink is poison and

tongue is granite

and

can’t stop hoping there’s a way off this planet

and

rumble and jumble and sections of squares

i howl and i holler and i’m running out of spares

keep returning and burning and scattering the same words

say it again and again, this character class is for the birds

flipping my sheet and squinting at the pencil marks

am I all out of spells or just out of steel-cased heart?

stabbing and grabbing and hoping for shade

ghosts can’t sing when their vein-blood begins to fade

i return to the numbers, the lines, the clack and the clamor

hoping that muscle-lies can out run this stammer

working up a head of steam like a train wreck

best believe red and black when this kid finds his deck

tapping Plains and TRAIN and Automobiles

baying at the moons and cooling my heels

i stay for the moment, elapsed for the quotient

corrupting the eruption and collapsed for the tone when

the trumpets will bray and the gray stone moves

love is the ink that my straydog paper proves

i am he who stands, the storm no longer

missing the lightning, but my copper teeth are stronger

spitting and spraying and praying for rain

knowing that the coracle-doors are never quite the same

pocket full of stolen keys, dreaming in the forest breeze

forget at your peril the unparalleled shaman please

i can never know the way, but i find it when true

remind the vine but always give the Gray her due.

power in the east bows to the west

north vs. south ulysses grant this weight off my chest.

 

1920_ball_held_in_gingerbread_City_Hall_of_Regina

As Above

unwinding the binding, the tape still rewinding

unstuck in my head, nothing’s lost for finding

days and weeks and months at the fulcrum

spinning and winning and telling you i’m all done

my hands are stone and this fossil’s forgotten bone

then the stars peek through I hoot and I’m singing  home

not old enough yet to really feel the weight

not young enough Seth to really fill the plate

i’m caught in the middle, squawking like a raven

hoarse on the battlements and  laughing for the maven

of blood and mud and the lightning bolt and midnight

i try to catch my breath but she’s already out of sight

i sleep beneath the sands but find nary a worm

whispering to the Maker, wondering when this kid gets his turn

who was  i then and what am I now

still don’t know the riddle but this fiddle-crab can never bow

so below I wake and below I brew my mistakes

hard slinging the ringing and hoping to catch a potter’s break

as above so below

a promise is kept

but only in the undertow

song of the east, dance in the west

never mind my science, this is how the path is kept.

 

 

chandelier

Dragon*Con Dragon Award Eligibility Dragon Dragon Dragon

I want the Dragon.

logoTo celebrate their 30th Anniversary, Dragon*Con has announced that they will present their own awards this year, similar to the Hugos or Nebulas. From the site “As a part of our 30th Anniversary as the nation’s largest fan-run convention, we are introducing a new way to recognize excellence in all things Science Fiction and Fantasy. These awards will be by the fans, for the fans, and are your chance to reward those who have made real contributions to SF, books, games, comics, and shows.”

Do I stand a chance in hell? Nope. But, much like Soul Calibur, the soul still burns!

Asteroid Made of Dragons is eligible for the award, Dragon*Con is my home turf and the convention I have most often bonded with the Speed Force in drunken excess. Plus – Asteroid Made of Dragons winning the first EVER Dragon Award?! C’mon.

Asteroid Made of Dragons – Release 4/5/20163411_937441408318_1998784740632060928_n

“An unlikely band of heroes—some of whom are trying to kill one another—must gather together in order to save their world from the return of an ancient menace in an excellent, irreverent mix of sword-and-sorcery fantasy and SF. Adams’s flippant tone recalls Terry Pratchett, taking the skewering of tropes down a very dark path as he establishes a fantasy world built from the ashes of a technological one” – Publisher’s Weekly [full review]

Excerpt

Goodreads / Amazon

You don’t need a badge to nominate  – just register here. [Deadline July 25th]

After the nominations close, all the chosen works will be listed on the site with excerpts and links, so voters can make informed choices. That, quite honestly, is what I really want. A chance for some more eyeballs to come across the book – I really doubt my vicious, but small fandom can wreak their will on a voting system like this where there is no barrier to entry. I’m asking you to nominate AMOD in the category of Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) [Let’s not get into that it’s SUPER weird to lump Paranormal in with vanilla Fantasy, that’s its own genre man!]

Once you’ve registered, you’ll also get to vote on the nominees, which will be exciting too! [Don’t forget to register if you want to do that part as well.] I won’t be nominating myself – because, well, it’s just super tacky. But! I will be nominating other books, and I heartily encourage you to put your own picks.

There! I said it! I did it! I admitted I wanted something. Let the winds of fate conspire to heap calumny and woe on my head.

I truly appreciate any of you that consider AMOD worthy of nomination – and if not, thanks for the time reading this and the consideration.

Reading. Chapter 8.

Launch Party Photographic Proof

Endless thanks to the hospitality of Avid Bookshop who let me put on a wizard robe and prance around for a while. Also – all photos were taken by Matt Hardy Photography, if you want to reuse any of these you may with photo credit given.

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Quiet before the storm.
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Family photo.
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I am VERY excite.
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Avid Bookshop’s Will fires up the crowd.
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The crowd is FIRED UP.
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I arrive to ruin their excitement.
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The disappointment is embraced.

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I talk with my hands a lot.
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Reading. Chapter 8.

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More hands talkin’.
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Great long shot of the crowd.

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Attractive people who like AMOD.

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Befuddlement next to my novel.
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The weariness sets in.
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‘Why is everyone leaving? Guys? GUYS?!’
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Some wizard, I guess? He got me super drunk later.
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Signing a book for a fellow author. DANG competition.
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Me and my most vicious critic. Emotional age roughly equivalent.
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Just a nice shot from behind the desk at Avid.

There’s so  much more to process as AMOD lumbers out unfettered into the wild, but I wanted to get these pics up post haste. Don’t I look like fun? Want me to come to your bookstore? I WILL COME TO YOUR BOOKSTORE.*

*Within driving distance of Athens,GA currently -until we sell way, way more books. Contact gderekadams AT gmail DAWT com.