January 31, 2013

Shadows and Echoes

After reading books, blogs, and websites on writing for any length of time, there are certain phrases and bits and pieces of literary jargon that begin to be familiar.  It's not always clear what they mean, and sometimes they're downright unfortunate - internal conflict, for instance, always makes me wonder if the character had mayonnaise and pickles for lunch.  Some of them, however, are quite apt.  One rare example of this is foreshadowing.

Those of you who have followed Scribbles since pretty near the beginning are already aware that foreshadowing is one of my favorite aspects of writing.  It gives me a thrill to read a book, especially one familiar to me, and catch a new instance where threads of future scenes are woven into earlier sections; I love it when the first book of a series plants seeds for those that follow.  I am not sure why, save perhaps that, though (and perhaps because) I am a writer myself, it never ceases to amaze me that an author's mind can contain such a monumental and complete thought.  It is one thing to start at the beginning and bumble clumsily to the end; it is another thing entirely for the ending to be foretold by the beginning.

There are many different styles of foreshadowing.  One of the most obvious is that of premonition or deja vu, two phenomena we don't really understand, but that serve us well as writers.  They allow us to give the character a hint of whatever disaster is to come - not a vision, for that tends to ruin the suspense, but an unpleasant and indefinable taste.  And through the mind of the character, the reader feels it as well.

Foreshadowing can also be done in less obvious ways, ways that will probably not be noticed until the second reading when the ending is already in mind.  They can be as slight as a word that a minor character uses, a change in the weather, an insult, the writing of a letter or the killing of a moth.  It can be anything, really.  There is nothing so slight that the mind cannot latch onto it, connect it with an event and rethink it months or even years later.  The association needn't even be direct; it may be a connection may be only in the character's mind.  Personally, these are my favorites because of the detail and nuance they reflect - and because they're even more natural than a premonition.

As splendid as foreshadowing is, however, it is but one side of the coin of continuity.  Foreshadowing is what the writer does at the beginning of the novel; it is the darkness cast by the real event to which the author was looking.  But later on, especially in a long novel, it is necessary to harken back to earlier scenes and bring them clearly before the reader's mind again.  I call this echoing; like as not it has different names in different places. 

At any rate, for me these are usually pointed (often unintentional) repetitions of something that happened many chapters before.  Again, they're usually small things - the flipside of foreshadowing.  A phrase might be reused that harkens back to another scene; a character's expression might remind the narrator of someone else; a color might be tied to something critical.  Whether indirect or direct, it is an association that carries the mind back across the pages even more plainly than foreshadowing carries the mind forward.

However they are used, foreshadowing and echoing are wonderfully tantalizing ways of bringing together the pattern of a story.  And on a rambling side note, they represent to me one of the spectacular aspects of the Bible: no other book in the world so reflects the perfect continuity in the mind of its author.  Perhaps, after all, that is what we all pattern our own writing after.

January 23, 2013

The Next Big Thing

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A few weeks ago Anne Elisabeth Stengl (who, for the information of newer Scribbles readers, submitted to the grueling process of an interview here way back in September 2011) asked me if I would be interested in participating in an author blog hop.  The idea is to answer a series of questions regarding our "next big thing" - in this case, my work-in-progress.  It seemed a splendid opportunity to introduce Tempus Regina, though I doubt it will be much less nebulous at the end.

Anne Elisabeth posted her own answers last week, featuring her Summer 2013 release Dragonwitch - which I, for one, am eagerly expecting.  This novel will be the fifth in her dramatic fairy-tale series Tales of Goldstone Wood.  There aren't any spoilers, so if you haven't seen the post already, be sure to take a peek and do some ooh-ing and aah-ing.  If you've come from her blog already, then welcome!  And may I introduce...

the next big thing
1. What is the working title of your book? 

Tempus Regina.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? 

 I think this was one of those stories whose title came to mind first, which is pretty rare for me. I had scraps of other ideas floating around in my mind—lost kingdoms and civilizations and curses and doom and all that jazz—and a few of them appended themselves to the title. Developing it into an actual story was, and is, somewhat slow going.

3. What genre does your book fall under? 

 Primarily fantasy, but to be technical, I would call it historical fantasy.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 

I’m not sure I’ve been rubbing shoulders with the characters long enough to pinpoint actors for them! On demand, however, I’ll do my best. Regina is a relatively easy choice: Katie McGrath would be little short of perfect. As far as looks go, Chris Hemsworth is not very far off how I envision the Assassin, but personality-wise I don’t see it working at all. David Tennant, on the other hand, has most of the personality and few of the necessary looks. I foresee this being a tricky issue.

I confess, I want Jeremy Brett for the Fisherman—which is sad, because Brett passed away some time ago. As a necessary second choice, I would cast Joaquin Phoenix—if he were younger. I’m always about ten years behind the times.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Centuries out of time, Regina Winters sets out to return to her own era and the brother who is her charge—no matter the cost to herself or to the world around her.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 

Represented by an agency is the goal.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 

It’s a work in progress! I only properly began in November 2012, but I am currently a raw 80,000 words in.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 

As far as books I’ve read go, I would say C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, particularly That Hideous Strength; Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising; and perhaps some Stephen Lawhead. Judging only by hearsay and back-cover blurbs, I would take an educated guess and say Mary Stewart’s Arthurian Saga and maybe Marion Zimmer Bradley, though I don’t intend to read the latter to find out. However, I tend not to read books that might be similar until after I write my first draft, so as to avoid copy-catting as much as possible. I’ll get back with you at a later date.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book? 

One of the most important elements of inspiration was a story my sister dabbled in years ago; she never finished, which caused me much chagrin, but the general idea stuck with me and eventually resurfaced. I think I was also inspired by a documentary—I forget what it was called—that I watched years ago on the discovery of underwater antiquities; that is something of enduring interest. A more recent, and more massive, blast of inspiration came from the realization that Tempus Regina was already linked to a novel Jenny is now working on (you can read about it by following the link to her blog below); though the connection was quite unconscious on both our parts, it has been extremely helpful to discover that these two novels are, in a way, “book ends” of one another.

To a lesser degree, I’ve been inspired by pocket-watches, Sherlock Holmes, ancient and medieval science, legends, Howl’s Moving Castle, a heap of music, and a great dose of white phosphorus.

jennifer freitag & faith king are participating in today's blog hop


I also tagged mirriam neal.  Keep an eye out! 

January 21, 2013

Beautiful People - The Assassin

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As with Katie's "Snippets" meme, I have not done a Beautiful People post since October.  It would appear that my little blogging world ground to a halt in October, or at least went into a series of fits and spasms.  I'll try to make it up by "introducing" a main character of Tempus Regina, whom you have already met (rather) via a few random sentences and an old excerpt that I have had to completely overhaul.  He is, unfortunately, so important to the story that I can say only so much about him.  But I'll do my best, and since he is of a gregarious bent, I daresay he will not mind.

the assassin

1. What does he look like?

The Assassin is, quite frankly, a big man.  He is probably around six feet tall, though no more than an inch or two taller than Regina herself, but he is also wide at the shoulders, stocky as an oak tree, and possesses quite enough brawn to knock a man flat.  (Of course he never hits backhanded, because no gentleman would.)  His hair, typical of the Saxons, is hay-blond; he wears it long and braids a long piece before each ear.  He has no beard, however, due to an unpleasant habit of singeing it. 

2. How old is he?

I have not gotten a straight answer on this point, but I should say he is around 24 years old when Regina first meets him.  Like Regina, however, he can seem much older; unlike Regina, he can at other times seem a great deal younger.

3. In three words, what kind of personality does he have?

Flamboyant.  Elemental. Vivid.

4. Tea or coffee?

He can make tea out of nearly any edible plant, but prefers stronger brews.  He has never tasted coffee, but I think he would like it if it were Turkish and black.  I daresay, too, that he would not be adverse to simply chewing on the beans; he is quite fond of chewing.

5. What is his favorite season or type of weather?

The Assassin is fond of a clean, sunny day at the end of winter, where the spring warmth is beginning to seep through and the first flowers are showing.  He likes a light breeze to take the edge off of it, a wide pale sky and a few cirrus clouds, and a sun as broad as can be.  Rain, snow, sleet and slush are all extreme nuisances; nights are good, but only warm ones in summer or, at the very least, early autumn.  He is a trifle picky in this regard.

6. If he had magic, how would it manifest itself?

The Assassin's magic would be of the elemental sort; he could command fire and water, but I believe earth and air would be his primary domains.  He would be, I think, extremely powerful in a raw, unfinished way; however, it is perhaps just as well that he does not have magic.

7. What are his favorite clothes?

The ones he wears.  He is not one to take careful note of what he has on - it's a wonder he has never forgotten clothes entirely.  He has a blue cloak that has been in his possession a long time, smells horrible and is quite worse for wear; I doubt he would comprehend anyone's objections to it, nor would it occur to him ever to give it up.  He is fastidious about his gloves, big leather things that he stitched himself and of which he is inordinately proud.

8. Is he musical?

Good gracious, no. This failing does not, however, keep him from singing and whistling with gusto and no tune.

9. Does he have any annoying habits?  Any habits at all?

Whistling is one of his primary habits, and even the birds find that irritating.  When he has once hit upon a joke that amuses him, he is likely to repeat it often in daily conversation; it will still tickle him six months later, and by the time a year has passed it will have cemented itself in his vocabulary (but he'll have forgotten its origin).  He fusses inarticulately to himself, burns things a great deal, always buys irksome horses, and refuses to bathe.

10. What do other characters think about him?

As a travel companion, Regina thinks him trying but, on the whole, not as bad as he could be.  She thinks he smells, that three quarters of his mind have not matured one jot since he was five years old, and that eight times out ten he has not the least notion what he is doing.  His religion, or lack thereof, is a source of irritation and wonder to her; his macabre jokes rub her fur all the wrong way.  However, she also admits him to be rather clever, in his own way, and not altogether unamusing.

Others tend not to think of him at all, or, if they do, they think him a sort of bodyguard or servant - or Saxon.  Animals are fond of him, though, probably because they always manage to extract treats from him.  If he had but one lump of sugar, he would give it to his horse (but it wouldn't be much of a sacrifice, because he doesn't like sugar in his tea anyhow). 

January 14, 2013

Slightly Organized

By nature, I'm a fairly organized person.  That's not to say I'm OCD, that I wouldn't rather put my shoes in the foyer than take them to my room, or that I color-code my wardrobe (though I have considered it, I admit).  Nor, for that matter, does it mean I quibble with "unsightly" stacks of books all over the floor.  They're not unsightly to me: they look like intelligence.

On the other hand, I'm really not a huge fan of chaos.  I like to straighten things - to clear off desks, and put pens back in holders, and file papers in assigned folders.  I like the feeling of getting books properly arranged on shelves.  I like to hustle clutter out of my room, because having it cluttered increases stress.  (Jenny remarked on this phenomenon a few days ago, so I don't think it's peculiar to me.) 

And this extends to my writing as well: if I can't keep myself organized, I get a most unpleasant and overwhelming sensation of panic.  I suppose that isn't an unreasonable feeling for a writer to have.  Here we are setting out to write a book that could be anywhere from 60,000 to 200,000 words long, with characters we're just beginning to know, plot twists we can't yet envision, an ending that seems incredibly distant, and more chapters than can be easily kept track of.  We may not start out with a map, but I know that for myself, if I don't at least have a few mile markers I will soon be hopelessly lost.

Some of us tackle this issue through outlines with varying degrees of detail.  For me, this has been different with every novel, but I find I don't like ones that are in-depth; they're helpful enough to follow during NaNo, when I'm rushing along much too quickly to keep track of critical points, but they leave no room for character and plot development in my own mind.  Besides, my chapters never end up following the arrangement I set up for them before I begin writing.  Still, this overarching outline can be useful as reference material as long as I don't follow it too closely.

The outline, however, is a pretty well-known means of organization.  Here are a few of the other things I do to try to keep my head above water as I dog-paddle through my novels.

corkboard and sticky notes

This is a new thing for me, and I stole the idea from Jenny.  It's a simple way of keeping tabs, not on large plot points, but on little things that are just as necessary.  Usually these are one-word reminders, just enough to spark my memory; they have to be fairly short to fit on the heart-shaped sticky notes. Sometimes I'll add a quote I want to use, or a snatch of dialogue I want to remember.  Anyone else looking at the notes for Tempus Regina would be able to make neither heads nor tails of them.  "Greek fire," says one; "abort," declares another; "smoke and mirrors," "sacrifice," blue stones," "Plato," and "The Great Exhibition," remark several others. 

Here I've also begun keeping track of edits I know I'll have to make, so I don't forget them.  I write these on different note cards to differentiate. 


I have a notebook for writing, but I also have a small, fat, spiral-bound notebook for a variety of Useful Things.  I write down blog post ideas, song titles, edits, and schedules here.  I keep track of agents queried and not queried.  I also scribble lists of books to find and notes on necessary research, like the phosphorescent qualities of zinc sulfide.  My notebook itself is not very organized, given my tendency to use up every spare bit of page until a single leaf has three separate lists crammed together.  But since I can navigate it well enough, and needful schedules, lists, and research are in one spot, it works very well.

chapter outlines

Unless I'm doing NaNo, I write each chapter of my novel in a separate Word document.  When it's finished, I copy it, add it to the main manuscript file, and then save both.  Writing from beginning to end in a single document is, for some reason, overwhelming to me.  Besides, finishing a chapter is much for satisfying this way.

The downside of this method is that it means I'm frequently faced with a blank page.  Every time I finish one chapter and begin another, I have an empty sheet of virtual paper - no words or snatches of sentences to spur me on.  And most of you know, I hate beginnings.  What I do to start myself off is to jot down quick notes in my writing notebook (not the Useful Things book) as a general outline of how the chapter will go.  I break it down into parts, rarely detailed, but enough to show me about how long the chapter will be and how many scenes it will contain.  It gives me a prompt and a starting place, and as I finish each section I can check it off.  (I love checking things off.)  This has been one of the most helpful flotation devices I've found for myself.

what methods do you have for keeping yourself organized?

January 10, 2013

Snippets of January

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I don't know that it is time, but it feels like a good time to continue Katie's "Snippets of Stories" meme; it appears I haven't participated since October.  November was so full of hasty scribblings that it seemed silly to post any of them, in the first part of December I took a break, and in the latter part I was getting the feel of Tempus Regina all over again.  (What am I saying?  I'm still getting the feel of it.)  There wasn't a good moment for snippets.

I've done a little more solid writing in January, tucked in around query letters and the like, and feel rather more capable of pulling together some semblance of a post.  Also, at some point Tempus Regina will join the list on the "My Books" page, and in a couple of weeks I plan on introducing this work-in-progress properly with a few questions-and-answers.  The story should be kicking around Scribbles quite a bit.

snippets for january

At the stable she turned, sweeping the hills again with a strange twist of desperation, as if it were the last time she would ever see them. They were beautiful, darkness and light sprawling together in a snapshot of their classic struggle, wild upthrusts and sudden drops of land as riotous as a woman’s emotions against an unchanging sky.

- tempus regina

Drawing herself up and looking around her more narrowly, she found he had set up a precarious structure of birch twigs and a rod that passed over the fire, dangling a small bronze pot above the blaze. Presently the whole construction would give way and the Assassin would have to save it from the flames, but for the moment it was picturesque. “As good as a tea kettle,” she murmured, a witch’s face passing through her memory.

- tempus regina

She looked up at him through her lashes and, parting her lips with an effort, said, “My ring. I want it back.” 

He looked back at her and she thought momentarily he was startled; then his face broke into another smile, quite charming (but a lion’s smile is charming, too, in its own way), and he twisted the blue ring off his own finger to put it on Regina’s left hand. “I see you can keep pace with me.” 

“I intend to." 

- tempus regina

A blast of wind came roaring up the hillside then and smacked them both, taking the air from Regina’s lungs and flipping the Assassin’s cloak up and over his head before racing past. She fought for breath while he fought down the blue folds, and in the midst of it all Regina could not help but think that his predicament was bitterly comic.

- tempus regina

“It seems half the elements came out to mock you tonight.”

- tempus regina

His face was white as the underside of a fish, eyes beginning to glaze; it would not have surprised her if he suddenly went belly-up and left her to kill the Saxons on her own.

- tempus regina

He set his heels into his mare’s flanks and brought her to an uneven trot, striking out first for the glow of the desert-home. Regina ground her teeth and hissed between them, and the Assassin, goading Epona to follow, called the man a name she would have blushed to repeat herself. 

- tempus regina

January 7, 2013

Excitement or Plausibility?

Back during the blog party in November, Joy asked me to write a post on the balance between fact and fiction in historical novels.  The result was fairly brief, a quick summary of my thoughts on the matter; this post, and probably a couple to come after, is something of an extension of those ideas.

At the same time, though I identify to this most as a writer of historical fiction, the topic applies just as much to other genres.  Whether writing fantasy or mystery, historical fiction or romance, there's a constant tension between what readers will find exciting, and what readers will find plausible.  On the one extreme you have old DC comics - Superman beats up all the bad guys again! - and on the other you have "realism" - everyone dies, loses their minds, is crossed in love, or in some fashion meets a depressing end.

Most of us like to write stories that land in the middle, because while people are drawn to the hopefulness of a happy ending, they are also quite capable of picking out absurdities. The quote about truth being stranger than fiction is quite accurate; truth is certain, no matter how crazy it appears, but fiction is subjected to the grueling test of the reader's credulity and can get a failing grade.  To a certain degree, it doesn't matter whether or not a far-fetched detail in a novel is true, if the reader cannot be convinced that it is so.  This is something that has stood out to me while reading Operation Mincemeat, an account of an Allied effort to convince Germany that British and American troops were invading Europe, not through Sicily, but through Greece.  The deception hinged on truth, half-truth, and lies, but it also hinged on perception and bias; and as the enemy had to be manipulated, so, in a sense, must a writer manipulate his reader.  (It is not at all surprising that many top-ranking intelligence officers were also novelists - Ian Fleming, anyone?)

In this little work of espionage, the key is maintaining a balance between the plausible and the exciting.  If we tell the reader exactly what he wants to hear up front - that Superman defeated the bad guys by bashing their heads together and escaped without a scratch - well, that is all good and exciting, but is it credible?  No.  Is it credible that Odin should conveniently discover a way to send Thor to earth just when S.H.I.E.L.D. needed him most?  No.  Is it credible that Thorin should be able to defend himself from a large enraged orc while wielding only an oak branch?  Uh, well, yes, because he's awesome.  That's pretty self-evident.

These are all exciting scenes, but if we were making them into plausible stories, Superman would be captured, Thor wouldn't be in "The Avengers," and Thorin wouldn't be Oakenshield, he would be dead.  The question then becomes, would it be better to tilt the scale toward the other end, make the story realistic, and wipe out all this melodrama?  Would this be the right formula for convincing our readers of the "truth" (and in a way, as readers we should be brought to accept the reality of both characters and plot) of the tale?

We might convince a few people of the "realism" of the story (whatever that is supposed to mean), but I can bet you nine out of ten will still be severely ticked off.  These all have a common denominator: they're adventures and fantasies, and there are certain expectations attached to them.  The excitement-plausibility scale will tend toward the former, because they are by nature fast-paced and high-stakes stories.  Disbelief is more willingly suspended.

Matters are rather different with historical fiction, where fact and imagination mingle and readers can see the lines.  When the setting is real and limitations are clearer, I know I start to look more closely for elements that stretch credulity too far or snap it altogether.  We can say glibly that fact is stranger than fiction - but when something strange in fiction tries to pass itself off as fact, we still eye it with inveterate suspicion.

Still, even in historical fiction where we expect to see more strictures, I think it is accurate to say that the majority of readers will always tend more toward excitement - because the majority of readers approach books with something of an escapist mentality.  We want to see things through rose-hued glasses for a little while; we want epic battles and happy endings, we want Superman and Thor.  We do not want the boredom of reality.  In my case, this realization gave me the necessity of relieving the monotony of blockade duty in the Sea Fever books; it was, frankly, a humdrum sort of thing, and nobody wants to spend pages reading about it.  But back on the other hand, there are a half-dozen sticky points where a story's critical points must be made credible enough to convince a reader.

The success of espionage is frequently a matter of sticking oneself in the enemy's proverbial boots, seeing things the way the enemy sees, then crafting the deception to pander to it.  That is what writers do: stick themselves in reader's boots.  Perhaps it sounds underhanded; perhaps it is underhanded.  But I think it is also the reason why writers must also be readers, so that we get a feel for such tensions as these.

January 1, 2013

The Sound of the Soul

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Welcome to 2013, folks!  It currently doesn't feel much different from 2012, but ho hum, that's the way it goes...

It is my intention and expectation that Tempus Regina, barring any unforeseen developments, will be featuring most prominently on Scribbles during the year.  I have continued writing, at a less breakneck speed than NaNo forced upon me; at 75,000 words, I still feel as though I'm wading through the beginning.  This doesn't bode well.  However, I shrug up my shoulders and keep going, learning bits and pieces about the characters as I go and hoping this confounded thing doesn't end up being too long.

In order to introduce a portion of the cast a little more thoroughly, I thought I would pull out and dust off an exercise I did way back in 2011 - finding music that associates itself with each character.  While I can't usually write while music is playing, I do tend to mentally pull together songs that fit the story or characters (lots of Owl City for the Sea Fever books); I think one mark of a story being ready for me to write it is that all songs start to be twisted into having an application for the novel.  It's the only explanation for "I'm Coming after You" linking itself to Tempus Regina.

At any rate, though this is not the entire cast, I tried to pick the most important people and pull the songs that capture them best.  Note that for many of these, the songs are the only ones I have heard from that singer or band.  Don't take them as unqualified recommendations!  And now, without further ado...

regina winters

I can think of a number of songs that fit in with either Regina's character or aspects of her life, instrumental and not, some for their tunes and others for the lyrics.  Some, like "Eurydice" by Sleepthief, have absolutely nothing to do with the story; "Street of Dreams" by Blackmore's Night, on the other hand, is quite linked with the plot.  Another song I've mentioned several times is "Memories" by Within Temptation, the one most closely linked with her, but it has already featured.   A fourth that I associate with her (apparently Tempus Regina is more music-driven than my other novels!) is Nina Gordon's "Tonight and the Rest of My Life," which seems to capture Regina's voice.  The thrill of the music and lyrics is perfect, and I like the way it portrays a snapshot of emotion.
gleaming in the dark sea, 
I'm as light as air 
floating there breathlessly - 
when the dream dissolves 
I open up my eyes 
I realize that everything is shoreless sea 
weightlessness is passing over me...

kay winters

Kay is a bit tricky, both because he is so childish and because he has at once a critical place in the story, and very little place at all.  I chose an instrumental song for him, one that is sad and whimsical, and thus probably applies more to how Regina sees Kay than to how Kay sees himself: Aston's classical cover of Adele's "Someone Like You."

the assassin

The Assassin is such fun - he really is.  Honestly, I could probably come up with as many songs for him as for Regina; many of Regina's songs involve him, after all, since the plot needs them both.  And Owl City's "I'm Coming after You" really does apply.  Don't laugh - it's true.  However, the song that brings him to mind most vividly and paints him in the fullest colors is "Lions!" by LIGHTS, for both tune and lyrics fit him.  It is a little grim, certainly purposeful, but I always picture a bit of a lopsided smile in the music.  Though I'm not sure what to think of the fact that his song is sung by a woman...

show me to the shipwreck
show me how the bones shake
and when I'm at the edge of sorrow's blade
show me how the heart breaks
be steady on your feet
no matter the trouble you meet...

lions make you brave
giants give you faith
death is a charade
you don't have to feel safe to feel unafraid.

morgaine & the fisherman

Such an odd pair, these two, and I don't intend to talk much about them - that would be no fun, and leave no room for guesswork on your part.  As with Regina and the Assassin, there are a number of songs that fit each of them; mostly instrumental, however, like "Intro" by the XX (whatever that means) or even "Doomsday" from the Doctor Who soundtrack.  But the song I like best, though oddly more associated with the Fisherman, is "Locked within the Crystal Ball" by Blackmore's Night.  It has just the right currents of power and magic.

I feel the waves begin to rise
Far across the ocean deep within your eyes
Silently watching as they fall
I can see the future locked within the crystal ball

 the time king

He hasn't shown his face at all, but you can hardly have a time queen without a time king.  As Sherlock Holmes so profoundly observed, "If there are bivalves, presumably there are monovalves."  Simple logic.  Like Morgaine and the Fisherman, I can't really say much about this fellow.  But as he is of a rather tired, jaded turn of mind, the best song I could think of was Shearwater's "Animal Life" - which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but oh well, what can you do?

no rush of light, no sun or belonging
no joy in building, love in the finishing
chasing down an anodyne
and half-reflected radiance
to hide below the ancient barricade
in chambers like the rooms a swallow made
for an animal life

the white demon

I like this fellow, though he only appeared properly last chapter.  Steadfast, grim as the Time King, and, in the Assassin's opinion, thoroughly disturbing.  I fancy he won't appear much in Tempus Regina, but he is something of a background force.  A lot of characters are...  At any rate, I chose for him Andrew Peterson's "Carry the Fire."  The song is really applicable to the whole novel (the tune thrills me every time I listen to it), and to Regina herself, but I think it best suits the White Demon.  

I will hold your hand, love
as long as I can, love
though the powers rise against us
though your fears assail you
and your body may fail you
there's a fire that burns within us...
meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
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Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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