lighthouse psalm

geranium

the eruption

before

and always

sometimes but not

never

would play

the guitar.

would sing

would fight

would crow at the moon and steal sunlight from the garter of day.

geranium stole songs

sang songs

love songs

rain songs

plain songs

‘songs are no ones to claim’ ear pressed to a new breast, unspooling their riddle

geranium wore a crown of melody

tore a bite out of the throat of night

geranium howled louder than

werewolf opera

and shamed the lunatic gods

who dared a crockery-challenge.

But sometimes

not always

just once or twice

three times in a leering moon

geranium would play

a

secret song.

Not his song, not a stolen song, not a madcap march or a sideways sonata.

Never on stage, never on the page, never never never

where it could be caught,

polished like a unicorn stone

in the laser beam heart of the eruption.

A song, a spell, a secret

a story never told,

alone in the bower,

alone in the quiet dark,

the song that broke.

 

The song that called,

the song that lied,

the song that kept the green ribbon tied.

Then to now and now to then

any wonder such a thing is forbidden?

 

 

quiet the eruption

lighthouse psalm

waiting for a ship

that never comes home

 

the song is rare

but played all the same

for only one ear

who hears not the refrain

sea salt and marrow

white gold and arrow

up and down I dream in your —

 

 

Goodreads Giveaway – Asteroid Made of Dragons

My publisher is giving away 20 free copies of the paperback! GET IN THERE AND WIN THEM.

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Click on Kuwabara to be instantly transported.

The contest runs from now until 4/5 – the official release of AMOD. Even if you’ve already pre-ordered, I would LOVE it if you would add the book to your Goodreads queue.

I,  quite nerdishly, adore Goodreads. I know the ecosystem has gotten a tinge more corporate since Amazon aquired them – but it is my first stop for reviews, ideas of more books to read, and my never-ending TBR pile is virtually curated. And if you’re looking to do AMOD and me a solid – you passively adding it to your queue alerts all your friends – and THEN THE SYNERGY OF SOCIAL MEDIA DAEMON BLACK LILITH WHOAAA will happen. If you want to be my Goodreads friend or  – more unsettlingly – follower you can also do that here.

Please share this link around, that is what it is for. You DO have to be a Goodreads user to apply – but other than that, anyone can enter and win a free copy.

AsteroidMadeOfDragons-finalfront cover hi-res jpeg
God, I really need to rewatch Yu Yu Hakusho.

Sunset Falls on the Weeping Gate

Edward Felspar

On Assignment

Vyle Tymes – 25th of Psydros, 2015

History sleeps all around us. In the stones of the roadway, in the iron of the rail, in the scars that lekpalios hide behind full flagons or a worker’s blue or a traveler’s cloak. As we walk the streets of Vyle we can hear the shuddering breath of the sleeper, feel its sighs on our backs as the Tagma march by. The clamor of the train is the heartbeat, slow and steady as History dreams. But we must walk with care, for we can never be sure of the days when History will wake and speak again in letters of fire.

ASH
ASH Insignia – From File

It was this reporter’s privilege to be present at the Weeping Gate of Smyrna bare hours ago, to watch the most perilous and remarkable Fey assault since Amarant Field be turned aside by a single unit of the Advance Special Hoplite: the Antichyros of Sunset. Details are few and far between at this heedless hour – but many eye witness accounts will soon fill the ears of every citizen of Vyle with what they saw that day. Let this be the first. The larger details of the account will certainly be forthcoming in these pages as time and diligence can locate them.

According to the ASH Desk, the ATC Sunset was dispatched to investigate a communication lapse at Fort Terra. They found the outpost empty except for a few soldiers recovering from a strange sickness. There they were set upon by a gigantic beast with a form similar to a fox that pursued them and the survivors even to the vast ironbane bastion of Smyrna, the Weeping Gate. After seeing to the care of the Fort’s survivors, the ATC Sunset were immediately dispatched by Tagma leadership to delay and distract the creature. From all reports it had gone mad with rage and pain and was throwing itself against the Gate itself. Tagma Silver officials insist that the city was in little danger and the damage to the gate was minimal, but this reporter and the many citizens who stood on the walls know the truth. The great fox’s eyes were not those of a beast and it’s aim was clear.  The Fey creature was well on the way to tearing the gates asunder and filling the streets of Smyrna with horror and fire.

How could any mortal hope to contend with such alien malice?

Then, as if struck by lightning, the great fox fell still. Its flesh began to tear and boil, bursting asunder like meat on the griddle. The beast fell apart into horrible droplets of violet viscera, like foul jelly scattered at the foot of the Weeping Gate. ASH Archon Nadia Soon – the White Rose of Vyle – spoke to reporters after the battle, relating the bizarre strategy employed to destroy the beast. The ATC Sunset had borrowed simple demolition charges from the station, then wrapped them with ironbane shrapnel found about the Smyrna Repair Yard. This makeshift device was then hurled into the center mass of the great fox and ignited by a well placed bolt of fire from Demiarchos Coram Lethane of ATC Sunset.

This brilliant tactical move was not the end of their work. The bits of remaining flesh still moved in attack -compelled by the dark will of a hooded figure that hovered on the battle’s edge, hurling fire at the brave soldiers. The citizens of Smyrna were as silent as the grave – too caught up in the plight of their defenders to cry out in either alarm or battle pride. In silence they watched the five members of the ATC Sunset do battle. The spells and ceaseless flashing camera of the bard Ansel, the vicious strikes of the knight Nora, the flames that ever flow from Lethane’s hands – hot as the sun, the brutal axe of the juggernaut Gish, the catlike grace and mortal blows of the monk Etrian. They bled in the engine yard, they cut the foul things down and sent their hooded master screaming into the wilderness whence it came.

They stood up from the battle, their own blood wet on their uniforms, and the golden sun sank behind them. At last the watchers on the wall could breathe, at last they could cry out, at last they could exclaim in jubilation for their saviors, their heroes.

This reporter was there, but did not cry out. Wide gaze on the sunset until it faded, the eyes of History falling closed. History sleeps again, but for how long? Not long would be this reporter’s estimation – History has a new tale to tell, and we are witness to the first lines.

 

 

 

Fire

fire

New York Public Library -Bloomington: view of the town after a sleet storm, Jan. 1871

Ice and snow and the outside of doors.

The town clutched itself.

A stranger came,

squat and empty like a jug.

He rattled on the windows and tapped on the doors.

He whispered only, ‘fire’

‘where is fire’.

The town did not answer.

The stranger whispered at the keyholes, ‘fire’

‘where is fire’.

He whispered and trudged and crunched, white snow around his black coat and brown boots.

The town did not answer.

The stranger came to the last house, the edge of town.

The window was blue with frost, but he could see inside.

Inside was gold, heat and bone and gold, and she saw him.

She saw him through the window.

She did not turn. She stood.

The stranger pushed empty fingers to the glass and whispered, ‘fire’

‘are you fire’.

She did not turn. She came to the window.

‘fire’ the stranger whispered.

She opened the glass, she took his hand.

‘fire?’

‘Yes’ she said.

 

She closed the glass and forgot the stranger.

He was nothing but boots in the snow.

 

 

Music for Your Face

I made a Spotify playlist for Asteroid Made of Dragons! It was fun for me to do. FUN I SAY. I’m a recent expatriate from Songza (RIP) and I hate Google Play Music, so I’m fairly new to this as my streaming music font of choice. I’m — okay with it? Still learning my way around and making this playlist was a good venue for that. One thing that is annoying is there doesn’t seem to be a way to control the order of the songs on the playlist, so I can’t put them there in proper  ‘I burned you this CD mix’ order. SO – below I’ll put them in the intended order, along with a little description of which character, scene, or concept from AMOD made me pick it.

Fair warning, this is heavy on late 90’s and early 00’s pop, as that was when I was in high school and college and a lot of my musical inclinations coalesced. This whole exercise started when I realized that ‘Freak of the Week’ by the Marvelous 3 was an excellent backing track for the Rime and Jonas plot line in the book. Probably some light spoilers below if you want to be 100% PURE for your first read of the book.

 

Hit Parade – BRADIO

If anyone’s curious, my mental image of the book is flat-out anime – so I would want the feel of an anime opening theme. I also keep my age-old tradition of beginning and ending the mix with the same artist. I would have put ‘Flyers’ up front, but Death Parade beat me to that pretty soundly, but I’ll steal it as my closer. This song is just super goddamn fun, the anime titles would have the Players in the cart, arguing over props – while inter-cutting images of the Main Characters doing whatever they were doing 5 minutes before they appear in the book.

Science Genius Girl – Freezepop

Xenon! The best – my archaeologist goblin with a heart made of nerd. I was determined to have a brand new main character for this book, one who does not express their might through any sort of combat – only in her quest for knowledge and prodigious drinking prowess.

Freak of the Week – Marvelous 3

Our Heroes, Rime and Jonas – this would play during the fight scene with the golem after the semi-botched bank heist.

My Name is Jonas – Weezer

No reason.

Burden in My Hand – Soundgarden

The Squire’s Dark Secret. This song doesn’t quite fit the tone for all of the revelations about what made Jonas flee from Gilead – but it’s a song that will be important later, so I’m wedging it in. Side note – in Aufero this is a song from Gilead, something of a Low Ballad that soldiers sing when deep in their cups.

Karma Police  – Radiohead

The fight scene on the ship, where Rime goes a wee bit too far involving lightning and half-ghost pirates.

Postcards From a Midwestern Salesman – Dayroom

Linus, the dread knight of duty. The lyrics don’t quite fit – but the feeling of age, of time, and of being completely weary do.

Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues – Jimmy Eat World

Ah! In the anime, we would use a TOTALLY different art style for this flashback to the ‘caging’ of the dragons – mimicking the ideographs and stylized depictions on the urn, with this rad, RAD song in the ground.

Are You Jimmy Ray? – Jimmy Ray

Sideways’ theme song. Also perfect for when he’s drunk and sunbathing between murders on the cruise ship.

Longview – Green Day

Just for whenever Rime and Jonas or Mercury and Xenon are just kind of wandering around. Lyrics don’t fit, but it’s my favorite Green Day song, so deal.

Fuck and Run – Liz Phair

Rime loves this song. Just sits in her room, with her headphones plugged in and listens to it on repeat.

Desperately Wanting – Better Than Ezra

I like this song. Yep, that’s it. There’s precious little romance in the book – some beginnings, some endings, and a good deal of platonic connection.

Low Man’s Lyric – Metallica

Jonas returns home. Lots of dog imagery for this kid. Just a song about feeling like dirt for all the crap you did. Also good for while he’s in the dungeon.

Gimme Sympathy – Metric

Xenon at the Weary Titan bar. Just kind of drunk and lost, man.

Pacific Rim (Main Theme) – Ramin Djawadi ft. Tom Morello

Rime IS A JAEGER AND THE ASTEROID IS A KAIJU.

Gotta Get Up – Harry Nilsson

Asteroid Response Team.

So Clear – Junip

Entering the Asteroid, also the feeling of unraveling all the weirdo Precursor mysteries and secrets that are crammed all over the damn place.

Power of Two – Indigo Girls

No comment. Probably about Mercury and Xenon, but also applies to Jonas and Rime.

Fall Behind Me – The Donnas

Parting of the Ways.

Flyers – BRADIO

End credits and a sky-cycle.

 

Spell/Sword Audiobook Contest Winners!

Here are the winning entries!

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Phil Rood

Scorecard: 6 chances

 

Spell AND Sword +2

Tweeted x3

Judge’s Comments: Unexpected to receive a drawing, but very pleased to do so. The barbarity, the virility of the linework, that dashing mustache! Also the sensible messenger bag really sets of the ensemble. This piece is ready to be airbrushed on the side of a van.

richheinz

Rick Heinz

Scorecard: 9 chances

Sword +1

Cosplay +2

Tweeted x3

Judge’s Comments: Just look in those eyes. The intensity, the focus. Those are the eyes of a killer. A killer of hearts. Emotional damage 10d6+5, roll vs. swoon. DC Impossible.

redtom

Thomas J. Arnold

Scorecard:21 chances

Sword +1

Bad Cosplay +6

Tweeted x3

Judge’s Comments: There’s a lot to unpack here. Does he know that bird is there? Is the bird whispering forlorn secrets of regret and torment into his beard? What an adorably tiny blade! Has this piratical gentleman absconded with a fairy’s rapier? Excellent framing as well, as you can see the white abyss of nothingness that wait sto devour us all.

spell-sword

Margaret Poplin

Scorecard:16 chances

Spell AND Sword +2

Cosplay +2

Mystery Multiplier (Holy Shit Effect) x 4

Judge’s Comment: Wow! I don’t know if that is the proper grip one uses on a katana while casting an ice spell with your off-hand wand, but still damn. Definitely my personal favorite.

ALL of you win a free download of Spell/Sword from Audible.com. I’ll be contacting you all via email with your download codes shortly. Now I will announce the winner of The GRAY PRIZE, a 50.00 gift certificate to the local bookstore of your choice.

52 chances in the pool. The selection was totally random, based on the number of chances each of you had. I just figured out the probability and rolled some dice.

The winner of the GRAY PRIZE is: Thomas J. Arnold!

Thank you all so much for participating! And I hope that you enjoy the audiobook of Spell/Sword.

But wait ! Some of you are probably wondering what happened to the other 6 downloads? I offered to give away 10 downloads,right?! Yes, you are right, person who follows my blog and social media presence very closely but still didn’t bother to enter. I only had four entries, so they all get the download and I still have six remaining. But what am I going to do with them? Tell you what, the contest is over, but I’ll put a bounty on those remaining six downloads – all it takes is a picture as awesome as the four that I’ve shared above. Send to me any way you like, @gderekadams on Twitter is the easiest. I’ll honor this until I decide not to – or the six downloads are claimed, either way I’ll come back and update this post to prevent confusion.

UPDATE [2/1 – 2:24 EST]

1 Bounty Claimed

davebarrett

Dave Barrett

Judge’s Comments: Puns are never acceptable. I hate and love this.

2 Bounty Claimed

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John Waldrip

Judge’s Comments: RAWR