Friday, April 29, 2016

M A V E N Chronicles - Sequence 48.9654

After writing my blog post for yesterday, I suddenly "heard" another sequence in this universe. Although a writer may be waist deep in another story line or book, sometimes characters from other projects will suddenly come to the surface, ready to tell their tale. 

I hope you enjoy the new "sequence" In the M A V E N Universe.

Reject the Synthetic.

File: M A V E N Chronicles

Originator: Unknown

Sequence: 48.9654


I know these streets. Back of my hand. I have to keep running. I won't let them get me. Not again. The stains are still on my chin. I don't remember anything. I want to remember. I can't remember. Damn. Forget this. Everything, they said. They want me, everyone, to take what's in their hand. Take it, there you go. We love you. Can't you see that? We are your world now. What you used to know – forget. Close your eyes and take what's in our hand.

I want to run. I am running. I think, therefore. I am running. Always night. Never the sun anymore. I want to remember what it was like.

I can feel the ice running down my neck, slowly, slowly. Fear. Feeding through blood. It takes and takes and leaves nothing. I want to remember.

I heard a whisper once. I heard. Something else. Something that is. I want to hope but they won't let me. I run because I want to hope. I left it all: clothes, credits, assignment. Loving and gullible husband. Two and a half kids. I saw when they cut – not substantial to the Synthetic, they said. The blood sprayed. I felt nothing. Only smiled. Yes, I said, The Synthetic. I heard a whisper, once. Of something better. She comes, they say. She who is feared by those who are blind. I heard that whisper.

I want to close my eyes. Just for once. Close my eyes and not be afraid.

I feel them staring at me. Everywhere. I run because I want to breathe.

A hand, dirty and powerful, touches my face. I am numb. I watch it unfold before me. The hand, an arm, a body, a man. Real eyes not damaged by the Synthetic. He tells me that he's been looking for me. He knows I've heard the whispers. She asked for me, he said. I want to trust him. I want to close my eyes. He places a hand on my back. I'm in a room. Smells, scents of things that are real. I see others, dressed in black. They see me and smile. I can't feel my mouth. Did I rip it off? I see Her. She sees me. I feel something leaking from me. I look down and see thick liquid dripping from my hands. The others, they tell me that it is finally leaving me. She made it happen. She knows what is beyond that which holds you back. The liquid is cold.

I close my eyes. Dream.   

Thursday, April 28, 2016

M A V E N Chronicles - Cyberpunk

For quite some time, I had this idea in my head about a goddess of knowledge, yet I knew that I did not want to place her in a fantasy setting. For some reason, the thought of creating her in a cyberpunk world yet seemed to fit. And so, M A V E N was born back in December of 2015 - the story is on my blog, if you haven't read it yet.

So it was that while listening to Front Line Assembly (the BEST Industrial band evah!) at corporate, that M A V E N returned to my mind. I can never refuse any of my characters.

I hope you enjoy the latest in the M A V E N Chronicles.

Reject the Synthetic.

File name: M A V E N Chronicles

Originator: Alio

Sequence: 2.01.9174

I have nothing to lose because I never took.

She came to me in the form of a wired dream, as so many experience through the Synthetic, yet I had not taken my dosage of pills that night. For once, I wanted to sleep without the constant static, the constant knowing of nothing filling my brain after a full day of unloading and un-remembering. Seek the Synthetic, they say, and Paradise will be yours. I wanted no Paradise. I merely wanted sleep. No static. When I saw her, I noticed that her eyes rolled in every direction in their blackened sockets, taking in the faults of the world. Finally, those eyes landed on my face and stared at me while I felt something warm gently probe my mind.
“You seek something else,” she said in a hollow tone. “That which is above flesh. That which is above the mistake.” I closed my eyes, for fear that they would betray my thoughts, yet I still nodded yes. The probing suddenly stopped, causing me to open my eyes and watch her float away from me. Her ink coloured hair moved on its own around her face; on a closer look, I realized that her hair was nothing more than tiny cords that sought out information. Her eyes were the colour of a dying planet and I felt myself wanting to let go and become mad under those eyes.
“You seek that which is beyond what is so freely and willingly given,” she said in that same hollow tone.
“And what, fair Traveler, will you sacrifice in return?” She cocked her head to the side in an almost attempt of being human. Yet, with her bright white skin with strange designs in black, she was far from it. I knew she was something else. And, she came to me.
“I give up that which holds me back.” She continued to stare at me in silence then moved closer towards me again. I looked down and noticed that she held a syringe filled with a thick bluish green liquid that barely seemed to move. I immediately pushed up my sleeve without question. When her cold lips brushed against my ear, I felt a tiny prick then the blue gave way to black.
When I awoke, gods not knowing, I found myself in a large room that smelled of something long ago. I looked at my arm and saw a single word tattooed in purple – M A V E N.
“You refuse the Synthetic,” said a voice from all around me. “Enter into a world, of this which is of the old mingled with the new.” I closed my eyes and saw pages, many pages, turning before me. The pages were everything I had yet to learn. Suddenly, I heard the words “Ex Libris” directly behind me and then a hand on my shoulder. The tattoo burned.

I reject the Synthetic.

M A V E N.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Twas the Night Before Cataclysm - World of Warcraft Fan Fic!

I don't know if any of you know this, but I play a game called World of Warcraft. Really popular MMORPG? Cool music? A Lich King that I still haven't killed? Sin'Dorei?

Anyway, several years ago, I wanted to write fan fic in this universe, yet never showed it to anyone.

So, for your amusement, may I present to you - Twas the Night Before Cataclysm!

If you play WoW, you'll get many of the references. If you don't, just enjoy!

By the way, if you haven't picked up a copy of the book featured above, buy it! It's quite the history book of Azeroth!

Twas the night before CATACLYSM
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a Plaguelands louse!

Alliance and Horde stockings
Hung by the fire with care
In hopes that St. Blizzard
Would soon be there.

When all of a sudden
There rose such a clatter
I dropped my dwarven ale
To see what was the matter!

It was dark outside in Stormwind
For everyone had gone to bed
Or out celebrating a latest raid
With severed Orc heads.

I then heard loud noises
From the sky coloured in night
I raced out of my warm home
To see what caused the fright!

Golden griffons flew over my head
While their masters rode with pride
Soon, there appeared a large black shape
That glowed red from the inside!

A large black dragon with glowing eyes
Flew around everything
My heart leaped to my throat:
The dreaded Deathwing!

For years, stories ran through the lands
Tales great and small
Of how this overstuffed egotistical lizard
Wanted to conquer all.

However, the Alliance and Horde
Wanted none of his ways
We wanted to continue our senseless battles
Ah yes, such glory days!

So, as I looked into the night
Watching him fly so lazily
I wondered if I had time to pack
And move to Shattrath City!

Merry Cataclysm, EVERYONE!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Realm of Indigo

On the mantelpiece was the book I swore to forget about, thanks to him. When we first met, he saw the book I clutched to my chest and when he asked me what it was, I told him with a smile on my face. He laughed then took it from me and placed it there, claiming that I no longer needed it. Now that he was in my life, I no longer needed my Book of Lost Dreams, as I called it when I first received it as a child. When I asked him just why I had to leave it there, he took my chin in his hand and lifted me up to kiss him. His kisses still remind me of an Autumn day when the winds begin to cool and the trees scratch the sky with their skeletal arms. He came to me when I was fragile and dangerous to myself, when the world needed to be careful in speaking about me behind my back. I heard the whispers and felt the eyes upon me and it took many nights of sleeping with my eyes open in order to chase the nightmares away. Yet, when he appeared, I felt as though I was still dreaming and refused to wake up. He told me his name was Sylvain and that he had come to wake me up. So, I let him. His lips touched mine and I felt the burn seep through my skin and prick my eyes. He then took me away to his realm in which the sun never rose and the skies were in constant indigo. There were shadows of trees as far as my eyes could see, each with a nocturnal glow that pulsed with every breath they took. He brought me to his lair and loved me completely that night.
With every touch, I felt myself twist and split into many pieces, only to form a body once again. He whispered my name in my ear and I felt something die within me. Was it my soul, or perhaps my walls? When at last I fell to the floor, he gently picked me up and carried me to his bed and told me to sleep. When I slept, I did not dream. When I awoke, he stood over me and told me that he had to take me back. I nodded and soon, with a flurry of raven’s wings, I was home, standing in the room with the book that still stood on the mantelpiece. I picked it up and saw the sticky dust crawl across the cover. As much as I wanted to open it, I remembered his words of telling me not to. It was my book, my lost dreams. Every time someone had done me wrong, I wrote it in the book. Every time I felt my heart break after giving it to someone who did not deserve it, I wrote it in the book. The pages were soon covered with my writing, my words that would never come true. Sylvain loved me and told me that I no longer had any need for such emptiness. He burned my book in a fire then swept me back to his realm, where we drank absinthe and stared at the moon hanging low in the sky like ripe fruit. When he touched me again, I felt the cold bitter breezes blow through my hair and realized then that I was dead. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Secrets, Love, and the Fae - New Tea Blend

Having just returned from another successful Cooper Young Community Farmers Market, I'm back in the saddle with a NEW TEA BLEND! This tea blend is dear to my heart, then, and I'm glad that I finally decided to make it.

As you may know, I'm the author of four books: Tales From a Goth Librarian I and II, Mabon/Pomegranate, and The Decembrists. However, out of all of my books published thus far, The Decembrists is my favourite book, especially with regards to the main male character, Hilliard Ravensdale. Hilliard, or Hilly as everyone calls him, is probably my best created villain and yet I still harbour feelings for him. You've heard how sometimes the author will fall in love with a character? Yes, that is true.

The story, for those of you who have not read it, is this: a young black woman named Sophie falls in love with an older white man named Hilliard. Hilliard's world is of the literary elite and he is the top of the "food chain" in the world of publishing. Sophie wants to become a writer and therefore jumps into Hilliard's world with both feet. Yet, there is a price to pay for delving into such a world and soon, a secret from Hilliard's past may destroy them both.

Have I got you interested? Good.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the new tea blend from Viridian Tea Company - The Decembrists!

This simple blend of sencha green tea, dried elderberries, and dried cranberries will bring to the palette a mixture of fresh, tart, and magical.

This tea, like all of my other blends, will be available on the Etsy store, ViridianTeaCompany, as well as through me at the Cooper Young Community Farmers Market, and Fantom Art Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee. Hopefully, this blend will also be available at my other locations - stay tuned for details!

I hope you will enjoy my newest creation; as Hilly would say - Happy Cups, then.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Inner Self - flash story

Charles stared his reflection while getting dressed for the movie at the art gallery. He fumbled with his tie for the third time, and then with a wave of flash anger, yanked it from his neck and flung it to the floor. Ever since Linda left him a year ago, he hadn’t been able to get the Windsor knot down pat like she did. Like she did, he thought as tears began to form in his eyes. He had wanted to marry and spend the rest of his life with her. However, she felt differently when he walked in on her and her lover, his best friend Jeremy, one night from a long day of work. Now, he was alone and he was still not too sure about it all. He fumbled with the first button on his shirt then did a quick glance over. Satisfied with himself, he slipped on a sweater, grabbed his keys and headed out to the gallery. As he drove through the neighbourhood, he continued to think about his ex girlfriend and why it was still so hard for him to be alone. After all, he was an English professor at one of the universities in town, had no late or delayed bills, and was quite the Jack-of-all-trades. Yet, he still dreaded coming home to an empty house night after night, for it meant loneliness.
His friends tried setting him up on dates; however, they failed every time. All of the women his friends had paired him with were nowhere near what he wanted in life. Come to think of it, he thought as he turned down a side street to reach the bustling traffic, Linda was nowhere near what I wanted as well. Although she was very attractive and a decent sexual partner, she did not share his passions. In fact, he stifled many of his loves just for the sake of not getting into fights with her. All she wanted to do was shop and watch soap operas. Anytime he brought her along to a bookstore, she complained during the entire time, leaving Charles more frustrated than before. Suddenly, Charles clenched the steering wheel a little tighter; all of this time, I’ve wanted to be with someone to share my life with when instead I needed to spend more time with the things I love, such as going to movies at art galleries and museums. He caught his reflection in he rear-view mirror and noticed that he was smiling. He was still smiling when he reached the gallery and parked his car. The walk to the gallery was quite delightful as Charles took in the crisp October night air. He walked in, got his ticket, then walked downstairs to the theatre and sat down.
The place quickly filled up as people started to flood in. He looked around and saw that most were in couples or groups yet there were a few single people as well. Were they single or did their partners not want to join them, he wondered then focused inward. Going to a movie at an art gallery was something that Linda would not have enjoyed doing. He grinned; no, this is something I wanted to do. Something that I enjoy. Why should I hold back that which gives me pleasure? Why was I so worried about being alone when I have so much to return to? As the theater darkened in preparation to show the movie, Charles continued to grin.  

(photography by Kimberly B. Richardson, copyright)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Voice of a Woman - Jonatha Brooke

I have been a Jonatha Brooke fan for many years: her voice, clear and strong, tells many stories and gives out much emotion. So, while listening to the song Crumbs, I began to get an idea for a photo shoot. The idea is this: I want to show my interpretation, through photography, of songs written by strong female musicians. It came as no surprise that Jonatha Brooke would be handled first.

The song, Crumbs, is a very powerful and lovely song that shows off Brooke's talent.

I hope she will like it.

Much thanks to my assistant, Alissa Brielle, for putting up with me and making me laugh.

"And you say, you're okay, but you live your life like it's over . . . . "

"And you see your face reflected in the silver spirals . . . "

"You're the one evading hope, side stepping every inkling . . . "

Here is the song - give it a listen: