I haven’t been here forever, and I’m going to try hard to change that. Part one in today’s update is a general state of where I am writing wise. Part two is a bonus snippet from one of my universes.
Loose Id closed, and they were my primary publisher, which really threw me. I now have my backlist all up. Yea me! Considering how I feel about 1) change and 2) new computer systems, I’m pretty damn proud of myself. The sales have been sluggish, but steady. Aberrant Magic 6 is trucking along. I’ve gone from 74K words down to 66K, so it’s much tighter. I did too much “show” on the casework, so I’m trying to “tell” on those bits so the book focuses more on the relationship. I also switched POV on a couple of chapters so the readers could see into the motives of grumpy Art. He has a cat as a spirit guide for a reason. He likes his butt scratched, but if you do it too long or wrong, he’s pretty quick to make a quick escape. That’s his personality, but I’m focusing more on showing why he’s that way.
When I’m done with trimming and editing Aberrant Magic, I have two thoughts. One, I might go back to Royal Indiscretion, the story of an ex-addict youngest son of a duke and the closeted bisexual football player. I think the guys could have some nice enemies to lovers moments. I’m also thinking about Carina Press. They have a call out for continuing series that combine romance with suspense or adventure.
I always wanted to do a second “season” of Aberrant Magic. Kavon and Coretta would have two separate teams, although they would work closely together. Coretta would bring in a new FBI agent with shamanic powers. Joe has an octopus guide and he is as clever and secretive as that would imply. What he doesn’t tell anyone is that he’s Roma and his mother has ties to the Earth magics that Native shamans use. Kavon brings in a new magic user. Milton is a cross between Blair Sandburg and Rodney McKay. He’s brilliant, flat out. He’s actually invented a new form of magic by combining crystals and computers into an interface that allows so much more control than a normal crystal user, but he refuses to believe in magic as anything other than an alternate power source. He’s hyper and ADHD enough that Kavon considers murdering him, and he generally rubs people wrong with his verbal diarrhea and ability to spout trivia.
Our team would still be there in the background, but with Joe and Milton taking lead, maybe I could convince Carina to pick it up as a new series. I’m still thinking about that one.
So, that’s me. Now on with the story. This time it’s Ondry’s mother having a mom/son moment from long before the first Claimings book.
Asdria flared her nostrils as she crouched down next to Ondry. He was such a willful boy that sometimes Asdria despaired for him. “You have gathered healthy fruit.” She would have liked to comment on her son’s diligence, but he had already passed the age when he would accept such compliments.
Ondry kept sorting the small, firm gasha berries.
“He who would trade must begin by trading in words,” Asdria rebuked him.
That got Ondry’s attention. He sat back, his short legs crossed in front of him. “I know you won’t trade.”
Asdria tried to calm herself before she could pale and give her headstrong son evidence of her disapproval. She was proud that he had taken to trading so well, but he was young enough that he should eat the fruit, or at the very least have competitions with other children to see how far they could throw it. However the drought that had led to her own eggs drying up had denied most of the town of a generation of children.
She considered moving to another town with more children, but she was loath to leave the Grandmothers she knew.
“How have you reached that conclusion?” she asked her child.
“You said I was too young. You disapprove of me trading; therefore, you will not buy from me.”
Asdria couldn’t fault his logic. He had so many centuries ahead of him—years of standing on his own and proving his own worth. During those long years before a woman left an eggling on his door, he would regret rushing toward adult responsibility. A Rownt would have centuries without touch, and those who had too little of it in childhood would suffer for it later. She had mourned each hatching when no children emerged from her eggs. She felt such a yearning to hold a youngling, and yet she had to satisfy herself with pulling the tail of some ambitious man or cheating an arrogant woman out of her profits. Those had been a poor substitutes.
And now Ondry was rushing into that same isolation. Since Ondry insisted he was an adult, she settled into the dust and tried to construct her thoughts as he might for an adult. “If you trade, you are growing up more quickly than most Rownt.” She tried to keep her statement factual so he would have no reason to show his stubborn streak.
“You would have me live forever with egg on my backside,” Ondry said with a childlike hiss.
“I would have you learn to steal meat from my table, but perhaps you can wait until you can see over the edge of the table.” Asdria knew she had made a mistake with that exaggeration the second she said it. Ondry paled. Normally he would rumble in pleasure when she treated him like an adult and insulted him, but clearly that permission did not extend to insults about his height.
He stood and walked away, his tail twitching in aggravation. Asdria shut her nostrils. Her son was quickly becoming more aggravating than a dozen kawt haunting her favorite trading trails. She failed to find the words to explain the truth he would not see. He rushed toward adulthood, and she feared he would suffer later. He would spend years unable to touch or hold another, and Asdria would be helpless to assist him then. But she could not find the words to help him now.
She sometimes feared she had some great flaw in her parenting that prevented her from clearly communicating logic.
But the gods would have their way, and she could not prevent Ondry from choosing his own paths in life. Hopefully he would prove profitable in trading. Maybe then he would have a youngling left on his door before he turned four hundred.
And then she would enjoy watching him try to explain logic to a child who was too willful to listen.