Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bowling for Dollars’

Just over a month since my last update but that does not mean I have not been actively writing.

I have been. I haven’t been editing and that is something I have to return to. Especially on the Shattered Mirror TSMFrontJPEG-2011-05-28-08-00.jpg. I need to get this book out there.

What I have been writing is the Troll series and currently I am on Book 5, the last book in the lives of Humphrey and Gwendolyn Cutter. Being my age, I have a great deal more perspective on the stages of life. Those that ShakespearePastedGraphic-2011-05-28-08-00.jpg saw and wrote down in As You Like It.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

But that is book 5. Since it has been a month it is time to share with you the opening of Book 3, Trolling for Dah Bears. Of course there are bears, but they are off camera at the moment. I should bring them back on camera. Just as in the Wizard of Oz, Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my, I set up Trolls and Giants and Dragons, oy vey. Well not the Yiddishkeit. So far in the series in books one and two we saw Trolls, so naturally we have to go forward to Giants and Dragons at some time.

Trolling for Dah Bears explores Giants.

Chapter 1

“Have I mentioned how proud I am of our family lately?” Humphrey said. It was good to hear him talk that way. Now if he would say that he still found her desirable, she would be even better pleased.

“I think perhaps you have. Yesterday you were saying how the older boys were doing so well in arms training. That they would be better than you have ever been. And that gave you a sense of accomplishment,” she said. They had three boys, Daniel and Kenneth, the two oldest of their children and then the youngest child, still a babe really, Charles. Their two daughters, Millie and Bea came between Kenneth and Charles and those two girls already had older boys sniffing around thinking of things all young boys thought of.

Every senior officer helped Humphrey and her older sons keep track of her daughters virtue. Gwendolyn had no worries there.

“Well I’m damned if I don’t say it enough,” Humphrey said. He had done well since they had returned from Mah Wee with little Daniel. Humphrey was angered that all the men he had taken to the foreign kingdom had not survived, but that was the lot of a soldier. King William had not lived either, but his successor, King James Lemmons had done quite well. They had to live there two years after the birth of their son, so that the Talisman of Saint David and Great King Adam could be taken up into Teantellen and ensure that no Trolls were to come against Mah Wee, but it had been two good years once King James had been crowned.

He and Humphrey were as close as two men separated by an impassable mountain range could be. While the sea lanes were opened each year, the two corresponded regularly and the Cutter brood had returned to Mah Wee three times since, with King James traveling to Torahn twice himself.

Humphrey was now a member of the Council of Twenty-One which ruled Torahn. Her father had retired and now spent most of his time at a small estate outside of the city. Gwendolyn ran his business interests since Humphrey was also the commanding General of all the armies of Torahn, now over ninety thousand men, Elves and Dwarves. It would probably be over a hundred thousand soldiers within another two years. One of the last things Lord Faireweather had done as First was to take an accurate census of the Valley Kingdom as well as find out more about their many neighbors on this side of the continent.

The other kingdoms on the Western side of the continent were not as populous, though some were very close. But proportionately they all had more soldiers in their armies. It had been many years, over twenty, since Humphrey was a simple woodcutter and part of the militia system that had replaced the full standing army when Torahn had gotten rid of its kings. The system that the Council of Twenty-One had manipulated to fill their pockets with gold and silver and leave the country woefully unsecured against enemies. Enemies such as the Trolls that had vaulted her husband, and herself to prominence amongst the people of the Valley Kingdom.

None were more respected in Torahn for what they had achieved during those years. A time that many still remembered. Now though it was with some warmth, since the terrible sacrifices of the Troll Wars were long gone. Yet others would never forget the losses their families had suffered in the wars. Gwendolyn’s father had become First of the Council then. Now many thought it foolish that the Council of Twenty-One had reverted to the old ways of governance without a First. The ways that had given rise to insecurity amongst almost all of Torahn.

Gwendolyn and her father had been crafty enough to use the respect that the populace held for the Faireweathers and Cutters to ensure that when Lord Faireweather put aside the reins of leadership his son by marriage was there to take his seat on the Council. Her father had aged rapidly the last few years of his stewardship of the Valley Kingdom. But once he and mother had retired to their estate, he had become a different man. His cares were lifted and he relaxed. He said what he looked forward to most was those days when his grandchildren visited.

“My you are a fine looking woman. I probably do not say that enough as well. Though I must own that I think it often. And you have bourne five children now. Many other ladies who have carried less do not have near the beauty or figure that you do, my dear.” There, he said it and she smiled. Not that Gwendolyn believed Humphrey aware that she needed such compliments, but she did work hard to maintain her looks, not only for him, but for those in the Valley Kingdom of Torahn who thought to envision her as the first woman of the country. She was sure her waist was larger by two inches at least since they had married, and she never would discuss how her backside had increased in size.

“Thank you husband. So, the council is once more at an impasse?”

“Yes, of course. Tor stands with me, though you had said he would not. But Whelan and Jaston lead those against us. I thrust old William forward to fight Trolls in Mah Wee. Should have done the same with Pete Jaston when I had the chance.” King William died then. If Pete Jaston had as well, it might have been fortunate for the citizens of Torahn. The death of King William and his being replaced by King James Lemmons certainly had benefited those of Mah Wee.

“Yes, you should have. He has proved untrustworthy since you sent him packing from the Troll War. He is a coward and has never forgiven you for embarrassing him then. Even when it costs him, he will go out of his way to do you a disservice,” Gwendolyn said. At first she thought it was a phase of Pete Jaston. For his father and her’s were great friends on the Council. Even Pete would work with Lord Faireweather, just against Humphrey. One day she would have to crush the man. Something that she knew how to do well, though she did not think that the men on the Council thought she was capable of such actions. They certainly did not think Humphrey so, else they would fear him more. He did command the most armed men in the realm.

“Well, it is too late now. He means to thwart any motion I propose, though should one of our allies propose some new item and not I, he will back it. Perhaps if we need his vote, that is what I must do in the years to come,” Humphrey found a way to work around the problem. He did not like confronting these things in the Council for he might lose his temper. The other councillors were afraid of the General when he did lose his temper. Things seemed to happen then.

“What was the issue, the rice imports? That they want to maintain a tariff twice what we need, and the money that comes from it goes to a few companies improving the sewers and the water lines?” She knew very well what was at stake. They wanted 3 silvers for each ton of rice that was imported. Then half of the money was collected on such imports was more than was needed to ensure that the rice was good quality by inspectors the Council employed. That extra money had been allocated to a company to maintain the sewers of Torahn, and also the water supply. Two companies that eight councillors had their hands in the ownership of.

Two companies that seemed to be more efficient in prior years, doing more with less funding. An audit, Gwendolyn was sure, would reveal that a great deal of money was taken out of the companies by the owners and what was left was barely enough to do the jobs that the companies were tasked to do. Corruption on a grand scale.

“One day. One day I will turn my mind and my own men to seeing what occurs there.” An army that approached one hundred thousand men had several officers and men adept at auditing as well. Men whose honor Humphrey trusted for he and others knew that such a large group could also allow the burgeoning of corruption. When it was found, those responsible, if they were soldiers, were flogged. It discouraged the practice.

“That will do us all well. I have been thinking husband,” she began and saw the look on his face turn to one of shock. He always looked that way for usually her thoughts meant a great deal of work for him. She continued, “The parts of Teantellen that grew hot. Did not the Elves tell us that the Dragons and Giants would leave them, and of course we know the Trolls did as well. Does that mean that they are not inhabited by any creatures?”

She had been speaking to Jokazai, the Dwarf companion of her husband who now lived in their household. He did not drill with the soldiers like Bahgdahnzai did each day and now lived amongst the family as a tutor for the children. He insisted that Dwarven legend held that there were ways to cross Teantellen, and not underground in the realm of the Dwarves. Trails in the mountains that the other races had used at one time.

For the progress for the year, well I hope to get between 90 and 100,000 words for May. I have fallen a little behind with moving and unboxing. To date we are at 560,000 words and hope to be at 600,000 by the end of next week.

By the end of next week, should have the first draft of the last of the Trolling series down, and will start work on an Edwardian Romance. I wanted to do more Ruritanian Romances, so if I see a way to transform this, I might. Currently it will be Edwardian just at 1910/1911. The Last Peer that Edward VII creates.

Read Full Post »

I finished Trolling Down to Old Mah Wee some time ago.

Trolling-2-Front-2011-04-27-09-08.jpg

Then we’ve been in the midst of the move for sometime as well. It has been hard to do things, like write. Though work has begun on the next book, Trolling for Dah Bears. (Bowling for Dollars)PastedGraphic1-2011-04-27-09-08.jpg

Trolling Down further explores our heroes and heroine. Here is an excerpt from chapter 1:

Chapter 1

“It all sounds like it was very hot. You’ve been close, haven’t you son?”

Sheriff Daniel was a little older since the last time Humphrey had come to Gladeton. Humphrey didn’t get there often as he had the first two years after the Troll War. Trying to leave the army after the war had become impossible. General Ellers and General Packer would not let him. The First of the Council had put pressure on him to stay on as a soldier, and then Gwendolyn had also. She was better at making him do what she desired than the others combined.

Six years since the wars, and three since Gwendolyn and he had married. She had broken their engagement off four times before they actually did wed. He had walked away once. That was what finally had her marry him. She could not imagine him spending time at Lady Stephanie’s House in Torahn and so hooked him back to her.

“I’ve been as close as you can go, at least a human can go. The Dwarves with us got a lot closer. They’ve told me they have rivers of such molten rock in their homes under the mountains. They said with the right type of thin tunnels, for they can make such little ones like tubes as thin as your finger, they can heat an entire mountain so it is comfortable to live in. They told me that there are gases that the rivers give off that you can not see that have to be vented away, else you would die of breathing.” Humphrey might not have believed such a thing before he had left Gladeton for the Troll War, but now he accepted such things as truth.

He knew that there were sounds he could not hear, but they had saved his life at the end of the war. That he was very thankful for. Though he never told Gwen that, but it was one reason why he loved her. She had found the Talisman when all believed it did not exist. Including Humphrey. The Talisman they had named after Saint David and Great King Adam.

Gwen had found the magic talisman and even figured how to make it work. That was impressive. He knew he would never understand that. As he sat in front of the Crowing Rooster with the Sheriff, Majister Burns came out with mugs for all of them. “Shame you know. Lost our best wood cutter when you left,” the blacksmith said handing out the refills. They had already had two other rounds. Those Humphrey had brought.

“Thank you for saying it. Means a lot,” Humphrey smiled.

“Bet you don’t get to cut much wood these days, general,” Majister Burns said.

Humphrey sent his glance to the heavens. “I do when my wife makes me crazed. The men all know to get out of my way and let me cut a cord or two,” Humphrey chuckled. The other men did also. They both had wives that could make them crazy as well.

“Now lets sit and just enjoy the beer. No titles. Harry you know that when Humphrey comes home he does not like to talk of such things.” That was an uncle Daniel saying. Things had changed since his last visit. It would change again when there was the next visit. Each time Humphrey knew that he was further removed from the people that had raised him from when his parents had died to when he had left for the Troll War.

“Yes, you can fill me in on all the gossip. Hopefully of people I know.”

Daniel laughed, “Well, you got one of old Sergeant Gardener’s boys with you now in Torahn I hear. The older one married Farmer Bales’ daughter and is now working land up near Loud Creek. You may remember the land that was Michael Carther’s place. He died back in the war when you went away. So the place was vacant and needed someone…” The two men started to fill him in on a great deal how the older of Gardener’s sons had taken to the land. Pretty poorly at first it had been. Now he was at least not losing money or too many crops.

His friends were right about the younger Gardener. The man was now one of the lieutenants in the army. In his own division. Over the next hour his old friends, father figures in his life, told him of what had occurred since last he had come to the town. News that he followed but found that he did not care as much as when Gwen told him that Lord Pete was being henpecked by his wife once more for coming home late from Lady Stephanie’s House. Probably the best whore house in Torahn.

Or that Lord Whelan had a cold and that so to did three maids who worked in his household but no one else was affected. It left those who heard the tale to speculate that Lord Whelan was not spending any time with his wife any longer but enjoying the entertainment he wanted to.

He would tell Gwendolyn of things that were part of his day. Matters of the army and the defense of the Valley Kingdom. The defense of Torahn was something that he interpreted very broadly, just as General Ellers and Packer were teaching him to do. The generals had momentum from the Troll War and they were not prepared to give back any of their gains now that the realm was at peace.

As Humphrey was often sent to visit the other races in the valley and see how they fared as an ambassador for the Council of Twenty-One and as a military commander, he had much to report to her about that as well. She liked to accompany him when he visited the Elves. Gwendolyn had not liked the visit to the Dwarves and had found entering a mountain and not trying to envision it collapsing on her, hard. She never went again.

Humphrey though liked his time with the Dwarves. They also liked him. Two of them, after listening to the tales of how he had used the axe to fight Trolls thought that he was, as they put it ‘Strahaked,’ and had taken to following him everywhere. They had left the Dwarven city and were now part of his permanent staff. They were in the Crowing Rooster trying to show his old townsmen that they could out drink any man.

It was good to reminisce. Gladeton had lost a good many men to the war. Now, as a general, Humphrey had begun to think of the boys that went to the fight as men. He gave them that respect.

When he had left Gladeton and gone to Forest’s Edge, he had not thought much of those who had gone with him. They were boys, barely able to find hairs to shave. But they had died and that made them more than boys. Too many had died.

Humphrey though was the bonafide hero of Gladeton. A general in the army, killing more Trolls than any other man. Marrying the daughter of the First of the Council of Twenty-One. Humphrey was a success. It did not make up for the many that had not come home, but it gave Gladeton pride, Sheriff Daniel had told him before. Something that no other Town in the Valley Kingdom could boast.

The town’s pride was a reason that caused him to return often. Even as Humphrey knew he had changed more than any would probably expect. At the end of the war, he might have been able to come back to Gladeton and put away his war axe for that of a woodcutter. Over time he would certainly have allowed the memories he carried form Karasbahn and Teantellen to fade. The many dead. The killing of the Trolls. The very real fear that would wake him from a sound sleep shaking and drenched with sweat.

Even as he finished another jack of ale, he could see in his mind how he might have come back to what had been his home and resume the life he had led before the war. The life that none thought he would have come back to, for even Sheriff Daniel had thought that Humphrey had marched away to die.

Humphrey might have found a wife then, surely as a local notable, he would have a better pick, and being so successful, he might even be thought of to take a job like Sheriff Daniel had. The man had to retire, and of his two sons, one had died in the fighting. The other was not that imposing to look on. The Army of Torahn and the First though had no intention of letting Humphrey disappear back to Gladeton.

The First surely made it so that he had a great deal of time spent with Gwendolyn, and not many other women in Torahn. Lord Faireweather, along with the Generals, had decided Humphrey’s fate more than he had. He could admit that he was attracted to the First’s daughter, and liked her a great deal. He had returned to the Capitol though with no expectations of seeing Gwendolyn.

She was his escort to every victory celebration, since she had found the Talisman that saved them. Prior to the Talisman of Saint David and Great King Adam he had wielded the axe that many said saved the Valley Kingdom. Gwendolyn and he had become the heroes of all Torahn. That someone said aloud they should get married had driven them away from each other as if they had been separated by a scissors cutting two halves of a string.

That separation didn’t last for the First meddled. They were together often, but not as a couple. Which is why their affection for each surely had deepened. He had admired and desired Gwendolyn before he had come to love her. But love her he did. Even when she threw the crockery at him.

In other news, I have been posting this blog through WordPress, Blogger, and Livejournal. I now am planning just to post at WordPress for I think I can work on the blog pages better there. I may continue to post at the other places, but you can definitely find the blog here: The Things That Catch My Eye

Read Full Post »