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The Other Place: #5 Don’t Unclasp the Key!

The Other Place

(a semi-musical Steampunk Goth hybrid story)

Blog Five:  Don’t Unclasp the Key!

The harp music continues to call him and whatever tonic Lady Oolong made for him has nearly lost all its strength.  He starts walking towards a street full of two-storey buildings.  In the background he sees the spiral tower of a church or what he believes is a church.  People bustle along the street.  The image of the bewitching vampire with the succulent voice overwhelms him.  He guesses that the ointment Lady Elsewhere covered his face and upper body with made his visible skin invisible to the vampire, but what about the necklace with the key?  His right palm feels a lump in the pocket of his trench coat.  He slides it inside.  There’s a wide, thin jar and a piece of paper.  Ignoring both he feels around his chest until he finds the key.  He carefully unclasps it.  As soon as he does it becomes visible.  He holds it before him, and a blue light emits from the onyx stone within the key’s head. 

His eyes widen as his mouth opens in disbelief.  An endless menagerie of living stories occurs everywhere.  A wolf fleeing humans.  A little girl huddling in a closet.  A man and woman intimate on a beach.  Flashes go off and there’s a dog wagging his tail as he greets the sister he was separated from.  The ever-changing images overwhelm his senses and he shuts his eyelids.

Fumbling with the key he manages to get it clasped onto the chain.  When he opens his eyes, its just the busy street before him now.  Except.  Some of the people are swimming through the air.

The key used in the cover is from a picture of skeleton keys taken by Dianne McBride  diannemcb@gmail.com

Honorable Mention:

Maggie Boone https://www.instagram.com/missmaggiemoon/?hl=en

This is a clip of her singing the Cranberries:  Zombie  https://www.instagram.com/p/Cm6H1P7IzTQ/?hl=en

Currently she’s doing a kickstart for her debut LP: Delaware Street

https://l.instagram.com/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kickstarter.com%2Fprojects%2Fmaggieboone%2Fdelaware-street-maggies-debut-ep&e=AT3A_65sJZESI3jhJQG1vRPk77jGJxWDNfwPZSE_nt7-1jFmKBjmTvthiNGIzQeDi0PFfYwEhahba3DOue-ZFowmVS5XEwuqES1U0g

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The Other Place: #4 The Winding Stairway

The Other Place

(a semi-musical Steampunk Goth hybrid story)

Blog Four:  The Winding Stairway

He finds himself now staring through a wispy wall of fog down a winding stairway.  In the distance he can see the shadows of buildings.  In his head plays the barely audible beckoning sound of harp strings.  The scar on his chest begins to move rhythmically.  Although he can’t see his hands, he can still feel them.  Closing his eyelids, he focuses on the proprioception action of buttoning on his shirt.  Next, he puts on his vest and trench coat.  He raises his transparent hands before his now open eyes.  As an albino he was always told his skin has no colour.  Now he wonders if he is truly colourless.  Tangible but invisible.

Fully clothed, he starts to walk down the steps.  Anger fills him at the thought of being drugged by Lady Elsewhere.  When he was younger, he often had to fight to survive.  Both his parents have vitiligo, and he knows they were often treated harshly.  But no one considered them magical, until he was born.  Perhaps that was why, when the traveling Impi warrior, Msizi found them huddled behind a rock on the shores of Victoriara Lake, he took pity on them.  Msizi fled his homeland, Zululanderra, after it was conquered and renamed.  He was the tallest man Dimoso had ever seen, and his own parents are tall. 

As they traveled together towards Tunisiarra, to find a ship to Londonerra, where his parents hoped he would be safe, Msizi taught Dimoso the Bantu language.  One day, he saw Msizi standing on a knoll with his assegai spear and cowhide shield, staring into the distance while singing.  He walked in front of Msizi, so the warrior would know he was there, and asked, “What is that song?”

“Rage,” the warrior replied in his baritone voice.  “Stand beside me and learn it while I watch for enemy and game.”

They say I am weak for not inhaling cohoba

And seeing what is hidden

They say I am weak for not drinking mampoer

To the point of oblivion

But I am stronger than they

For I am always full of rage

It lurks inside waiting to lash out

I am strong for not inhaling or imbibing

Because if I wasn’t

You would be dead

There’s something you don’t understand

Rage doesn’t care about the vessel it uses

Rage doesn’t care who it destroys in its path

Over the half year it took to reach Tunisiarra he learned to read and write from his parents and how to track and fight from Msizi.  Only a few times did he see his mentor rage.  Msizi warned him ahead of time to stay away.  “It is not when I’m shouting angerly but when I go still,” Msizi explained.

He didn’t have that kind of rage inside him thankfully.  But he also never wanted to find out.  So, he stayed away from laudanum and the underground opium dens that filled the catacombs of Londera.

One step after another, he goes further into this strange place, and as he does, the harp strings beckon to him ever louder.       

Lupita Nyong’o’s documentary on albinism: 

Dr. Oscar Duke

Honorable Mention:

Y.KAORU (@kero_p_chan)

Steampunk and other art

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The Other Place: Through The Dreamscape

The Other Place

(a semi-musical Steampunk hybrid story)

Blog Three:  Through The Dreamscape

As Chief Shabuni enters the block of ice he sees something different than the city he originally saw.  How much did Lady Oolong’s tincture warp his thoughts?  In front of him in shades of white and blue are elongated buildings within an egg-shaped vignette.  “What–,” he begins to say when he hears Lady Oolong’s voice singing in his head.

Welcome to the Dreamscape Chief Shabuni

Where the bend of everything occurs

Welcome to the Dreamscape Chief Shabuni

That terrifying place in dreams

When everything, everything makes sense

Just one more step forward Chief Shabuni…

He stares down and sees endlessness through where his upper body and arms should be.  His eyelids instinctively squeeze shut.  His right hand covers the scar on his chest. 

A soprano voice, he knows from the real place he has departed, calls to him.

Find me, Dimoso

In the place I fully exist

In the place I feel real

In the place I never thought

Thought we could meet…

He takes a step forward.

I asked Dianne McBride to send me one of her abstract art pieces with the theme of buildings.

Original abstract art by Dianne McBride diannemcb@gmail.com
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The Other Place Blog 2: The Between Place

The Other Place

(a semi-musical Steampunk hybrid story)

Blog Two:  The Between Place

Chief Shabuni steps into a natural corridor where everything is tinted blue.  Giant trees grow everywhere along a carpet of stones.  Directly before him is the root in the shape of a nest.  A little farther away is another block of ice.  He hears Lady Oolong’s voice in his head, your clothes are beside you.  Gather them but don’t wear them yet.  As he gazes around for his shirt, vest, and trench coat he notices his chest, belly, and arms are invisible.  His heart begins to race. 

Don’t forget to grab a few of the shimmering stones in the shape of eggs, Lady Steamsail’s voice tells him.   

He sees a leather bag with drawstrings on top of his clothes.  As he bends down to gather a few eggs he opens his mouth to ask why.  His eyes bulge painfully as he feels his breath rush out.  Desperate for air he grabs two of the oblong rocks and tosses them into the bag.  Without hesitation he picks up his clothes and heads towards the block of ice. 

Through the ice he sees a bustling street.  There’s something strange about the people but he can’t worry about that.  His body is crying out for air.

As he takes a step forward the image in the block of ice disappears into swirls of mist.  There’s a face behind the whisps of grey.  He’s nearly at the block when he jolts to a stop.  A woman with enchanting green eyes stares arrogantly back at him.  His skin crawls in horror at the sight of her sharp fangs and the blood stains that run down from the corners of her mouth.

I see a stovepipe hat with goggles, she sings in a mocking tone.

Trousers and shoes

And absolutely nothing holding clothes

And a leather bag

A spectre, a wight, a ghost?

She inhales from her nose.

A tinge of magical power

But not anyone I’m looking for

You may pass

He realizes its good that he held his breath in terror the whole time she sang.  The image of the street reappears and he dashes towards it before there is no oxygen left inside him.

Original photo by Leah Weir

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The Other Place

The Other Place

(a semi-musical Steampunk hybrid story)

Blog One

* The Other Place continues from where the Steampunk hybrid story, Books by Authors Who Never Existed, leaves off. 

He feels the coolness of her fingers against his skin as she places a thin chained gold necklace with a single bronze skeleton key around his neck.  In the centre of the skeleton key’s head is an onyx gemstone that glows.  He looks towards the China cabinet as he hears Lady Oolong strum the lute while Lady Steamsail dings a crystal bell.  The tiny gemstones in their skeleton key earrings are also radiating; one green, the other blue. 

Lady Raven unties his wrists.  “Come with me,” she says.

As he stands up to follow, he hears Lady Oolong sing:

 Chief Shabuni,

I hear you’ve met my sisters

And you’re wondering

You’re wondering…

What are the key earrings for…

Do they have anything to…

Do with the slab of ice…

That never melts?

Chief Shabuni,

Chief Shabuni…

Have you ever heard of…

The Other Place?

Before him is the entrance to the kitchen.  In the centre of the ceramic floor is a slab of ice that appears wet but doesn’t seem to melt.  Within the slab he sees the thick tree root of a giant tree.  The root is curved into a circle that reminds him of a nest.  Within the nest are glowing blue rocks.

“My sisters will follow you soon,” Lady Elsewhere tells him.  “Lady Iris, who you should now address as Countess Idris, is already there.  She is staying in a suite within the Crimson Red Hotel. 

While Lady Oolong continues to sing and Lady Steamsail dings the crystal bell, Lady Elsewhere gives him a silver goblet with a dark amber liquid inside.  “It will help you travel.” As he sips the viscous contents with the strong alcohol and nutmeg taste, Lady Elsewhere undoes the buttons of his trench coat and the vest underneath.  His head begins to spin as she fingers a scar in the shape of a pixie on his right pec.  “It moves when I touch it,” he hears her say with interest.  “Does our chief have a secret friend?”  He vaguely sees her undo the lid of a jar.  Her long fingers are icy as she coats his face, chest, back and arms with a jell that smells of frankincense.  “The nest before you is where the antigravity stones come from.  We call it the Between Place. There are numerous nests between your reality, The Other Place, and The Place That Never Existed.  Step into the nest Chief Shabuni.  We will see you soon….”  He steps forward.

Dianne McBride is a multitalented artist. She can be reached at diannemcb@gmail.com.

Dianne was kind enough to let me alter her picture for the cover of The Other Place.

Nest of rocks by Dianne McBride
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The Dance Effect

The Dance Effect

The Dance Effect is the latest book by the author of Climate Change – Health Connections, Songs of Bittersweet Memories, and Explore.

Nandita Khandelwal, M.Sc. is a geologist, health coach, author, and lover of dance. Determined to write an authentic book about her passion for dancing she sought out three of India’s renowned dance performers/artists: Jainil Mehta, En Lai, and Nicole Concessao. With their collaboration Nandita has created a book that tells each of their stories both in words and pictures.

The Dance Effect is a window into the struggles and successes of real dance artists. A glimpse into how they got started to where they are now. This is a wonderful book for lovers of dance, students, parents, teachers, and of course professional dancers.

From Nandita’s Instagram site

You can also find her at her website.

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Books By Authors Who Never Existed, Acknowledgements

After four or more years of writing a weekly story/blog (sometimes alone, other times with a collaborator–Taylor Norris, RMT and Model) I will be taking a hiatus to focus on passing a course, creating one, and some other projects.

When I do start again, if someone is interested in “volunteering” as a model to portray a character I will certainly consider it. The reciprocity is I promote your “appropriate” business or charity. You own the picture(s) I, or I and a co-writer own the character.

There was a number of volunteer character models for the Steampunk hybrid story Books By Authors Who Never Existed.

Lady Evelyn Oolong portrayed by Taylor Norris, RMT taynorris@gmail.com

Lady Marina Steamsail portrayed by Joanne Gossling, Interior Decorator Jgosling@calclosets.com

Mr. Clockwind portrayed by Bob Godglick: vintage clock repair:

Considerate Done: Vintage Clock Repair: Bgdm201@gmail.com 519-897-0419

The Inventor portrayed by Brandon Gray (photo and costume set up by Robin Gray)

Robin Gray can be reached at @grayandwhitelaw  Custom Decor and Designs Her new website is:  www.grayandwhitelaw.ca

The weapons used are exclusively from Fire and Steel (just as most of the weapons in A Motley Sisterhood of Sisters! are)

Fireandsteel.ca Dragonrider Folding Knife

Perched Drake Cane by FireandSteel.ca

I would also like to thank my cousin Yvonne Haug (Giant Plants Interview) for the background for Mr. Intrepid.

Some upcoming projects are interviews with

Bob Godlick (Mr. Clockwind) on clocks that keep time in while in motion

Kendra Huddleston of FashionXtacy

In The Meantime

You can check out my books under BARD: Owner Of The Gemstone, and in Books

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The Conclusion…For Now! [Part 24…]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

The Conclusion…For Now!  [Part 24]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

                                                                           ***       

Chief Shabuni blinks but his vision remains too blurred to see clearly.  He realizes he’s sitting up with his wrists tied to the armrests of a chair.  After a few moments his other senses kick in.  He can smell cinnamon and peppermint.  Every so often he hears the dampened sound of a steam powered vehicle going by.  Keeping his eyes open he starts to see images clearly but his peripheral vision is still blurry.  He realizes he’s sitting in front of the China cabinet at Lady Evelyn Oolong’s Tea Store.  First, he sees Lady Marina Steamsail.  She’s sipping from a China cup.  A little behind, to the right of Lady Steamsail, he sees Lady Evelyn Oolong, with a six-string lute in her hands.

“A very special individual will be dropping by soon, Chief Shabuni,” Lady Steamsail tells him.  She picks up a separate cup of steaming tea and lifts it to his lips.  “First though, my sister asked me to brew this wonderful tonic for you.”

The taste of the tea is soothing, similar to the valerian tea Lady Oolong gave him only a day ago.  But this tea has something piney, and even hotter than the tea itself.  He glances at the two ladies as he drinks down the rest of the tea. 

From somewhere behind him he hears a door open followed by heeled steps coming towards him.  The one person he never wants to meet is just visible to his right.  Her long, shiny raven hair falls around her heart shaped face, accentuating her thick succulent lips and ends in strands that highlight her glistening ebony bosom, pressed out by a midnight blue corset with a laced top.  The fangs that press against her lower lip as she smiles, terrify him.  But once he looks up into her almond shaped eyes; he forgets everything else.

In the distance he hears the two ladies say in unison, “Mother.”

“Play and sing Eve.  Mar, tap your crystal bell.  The frequency must be perfect,” Lady Raven Elsewhere says in a voice that is both enchanting and ethereal.

He feels the coolness of her fingers against his skin as she places a thin strand gold necklace with a single bronze skeleton key around his neck.  In the centre of the skeleton key’s head is an onyx gemstone that glows.  He looks towards the China cabinet as he hears Lady Oolong strum the lute while Lady Steamsail dings a crystal bell.  The tiny gemstones in their skeleton key earrings are also radiating.  One green, the other blue. 

Lady Raven unties his wrists.  “Come with me,” she says.

As he stands up to follow, he hears Lady Oolong sing:

 Chief Shabuni,

I hear you’ve met my sisters

And you’re wondering

You’re wondering…

What are the key earrings for…

Do they have anything to…

Do with the slab of ice…

That never melts?

Chief Shabuni,

Chief Shabuni…

Have you ever heard of…

The Other Place?

***

Taylor Norris, RMT (Lady Evelyn Oolong): taynorris@gmail.com

Perched Drake Cane by FireandSteel.ca

Steampunk Hat

NEYYR Steampunk overdress corset

ILLUDE knee high military boots

Joanne Gosling (as Lady Marina Steamsail)Jgosling@calclosets.com

Fireandsteel.ca Dragonrider Folding Knife

GRACEART Unisex Steampunk Top Hat with Goggles

Alivila.Y Fashion: Women’s Faux Leather Steampunk Corset Victorian Bustier Top

***

Honourable Mention

A common occurrence for both A Motley Sisterhood Of Pirates!  and Books By Authors Who Never Existed is the use of weapons by Fireandsteel.ca (fireandsteel.com as well now).

These are weapons made exclusively by Fire and Steel.  This a very cool company that is made up of a mixture of martial artists who love everything from fantasy fiction, science fiction, Marvel, D.C., Manga, Anime, etc.  And they’re all ruled (more Gandalf than Sauron—she loves Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Eagles, maybe humans) by a Nuclear Physicist/martial artist/traveler/lover all the things I’ve already mentioned/and more…Laura Suen

My Interview with Laura Suen of Fire and Steel

Sharp Sword versus Dull Swords

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The Conclusion…For Now!  [Part 24]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

                                                                           ***       

                                                                           ***       

Chief Shabuni blinks but his vision remains too blurred to see clearly.  He realizes he’s sitting up with his wrists tied to the armrests of a chair.  After a few moments his other senses kick in.  He can smell cinnamon and peppermint.  Every so often he hears the dampened sound of a steam powered vehicle going by.  Keeping his eyes open he starts to see images clearly but his peripheral vision is still blurry.  He realizes he’s sitting in front of the China cabinet at Lady Evelyn Oolong’s Tea Store.  First, he sees Lady Marina Steamsail.  She’s sipping from a China cup.  A little behind, to the right of Lady Steamsail, he sees Lady Evelyn Oolong, with a six-string lute in her hands.

“A very special individual will be dropping by soon, Chief Shabuni,” Lady Steamsail tells him.  She picks up a separate cup of steaming tea and lifts it to his lips.  “First though, my sister asked me to brew this wonderful tonic for you.”

The taste of the tea is soothing, similar to the valerian tea Lady Oolong gave him only a day ago.  But this tea has something piney, and even hotter than the tea itself.  He glances at the two ladies as he drinks down the rest of the tea. 

From somewhere behind him he hears a door open followed by heeled steps coming towards him.  The one person he never wants to meet is just visible to his right.  Her long, shiny raven hair falls around her heart shaped face, accentuating her thick succulent lips and ends in strands that highlight her glistening ebony bosom, pressed out by a midnight blue corset with a laced top.  The fangs that press against her lower lip as she smiles, terrify him.  But once he looks up into her almond shaped eyes; he forgets everything else.

In the distance he hears the two ladies say in unison, “Mother.”

“Play and sing Eve.  Mar, tap your crystal bell.  The frequency must be perfect,” Lady Raven Elsewhere says in a voice that is both enchanting and ethereal.

He feels the coolness of her fingers against his skin as she places a thin strand gold necklace with a single bronze skeleton key around his neck.  In the centre of the skeleton key’s head is an onyx gemstone that glows.  He looks towards the China cabinet as he hears Lady Oolong strum the lute while Lady Steamsail dings a crystal bell.  The tiny gemstones in their skeleton key earrings are also radiating.  One green, the other blue. 

Lady Raven unties his wrists.  “Come with me,” she says.

As he stands up to follow, he hears Lady Oolong sing:

 Chief Shabuni,

I hear you’ve met my sisters

And you’re wondering

You’re wondering…

What are the key earrings for…

Do they have anything to…

Do with the slab of ice…

That never melts?

Chief Shabuni,

Chief Shabuni…

Have you ever heard of…

The Other Place?

***

Taylor Norris, RMT (Lady Evelyn Oolong): taynorris@gmail.com

Perched Drake Cane by FireandSteel.ca

Steampunk Hat

NEYYR Steampunk overdress corset

ILLUDE knee high military boots

Joanne Gosling (as Lady Marina Steamsail)Jgosling@calclosets.com

Fireandsteel.ca Dragonrider Folding Knife

GRACEART Unisex Steampunk Top Hat with Goggles

Alivila.Y Fashion: Women’s Faux Leather Steampunk Corset Victorian Bustier Top

***

Honourable Mention

A common occurrence for both A Motley Sisterhood Of Pirates!  and Books By Authors Who Never Existed is the use of weapons by Fireandsteel.ca (fireandsteel.com as well now).

These are weapons made exclusively by Fire and Steel.  This a very cool company that is made up of a mixture of martial artists who love everything from fantasy fiction, science fiction, Marvel, D.C., Manga, Anime, etc.  And they’re all ruled (more Gandalf than Sauron—she loves Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Eagles, maybe humans) by a Nuclear Physicist/martial artist/traveler/lover all the things I’ve already mentioned/and more…Laura Suen

My Interview with Laura Suen of Fire and Steel

Sharp Sword versus Dull Swords

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A Real Place  [Part 23]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

                                                                           ***       

“You see,” The Inventor says to Mr. Clockwind, who is stilled dressed in black, and continues to have a constant dazed expression.  Which The Inventor is pleased with.  It means, the clockmaker still hasn’t awoken from the injection.  “I often dream of my twin.  It wasn’t until a few months ago, when Lady Raven Elsewhere invited me to tea, that I learned these particular dreams are not a subconscious construct of imagination, but a real place.  The Other Place.  It means there is a way for me to get all of my twin back.” 

The Inventor leads Mr. Clockwind out of the steam delivery truck and up the stairs to Lady Elsewhere’s mansion.  “Lady Elsewhere wants someone else back, a Mr. Intrepid.  Now, I’m going to keep my word and let you go, but Chief Shabuni—well, he’s going to the Other Place.  However, in order for him to return, he needs a clock that exists between our existence and The Other Place’s.”

“I have the gravity stones.”  He smirks as he recalls sending his automaton to steal the crystals Mr. Claws discovered in the Arcticterra.  “Lady Elsewhere and her associates, have skeleton keys, each pair with its own stones; but we don’t yet have a clock.  A clock that hovers, so as to be between two places simultaneously.  I suspect my newly acquired books contain the solution to that problem.”

***

Mr. Clockwind continues to keep his face loose and stare absently ahead.  It isn’t time to use the coiled spring wire, yet.  However, now he needs to get it to Chief Shabuni, if he can.  Proper time is essential for making plans.  Sometimes, to thwart those plans, it’s necessary to slow, or speed time up.

***

Once again, I’d like to thank Brandon Gray for portraying The Inventor.  And his wife, Robin Gray, for suiting him up and taking his pictures.

Robin Gray can be reached at @grayandwhitelaw  Custom Decor and Designs

Her new website is:  https://gray-and-whitelaw-101684.square.site

Background by Yvonne Haug

Honourable Mention

Tina Guo is the first person to engulf me in the siren sound of the cello.

To best summarise her, this is my reply to a request she had, for what people thought of her new website:

https://tinaguo.com/

Your accomplishments are amazing and overwhelming. I’ve been following you for awhile. You play well alone and with others. You are also a very clear and passionate instructor. A celloist…, collaborator, composer, and to borrow from Kevin Hart: always evolving. A businesswoman who earns what she gets, and a realist.

Teaching Cello:

The Last of the Mohicans:

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I Tried…To Protect You  [Part 22]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Tobey is lying across the empty space on top of the Salinas desk.  The bronze faced man is motionless in front of him.  Behind him, he can feel the ridge of the bookcase that contains the books, by authors who never existed.  His human mom is listening to the crank radio, while holding the hearing horn to her left ear.   Through the side windows of the front door, he sees a steam delivery truck pull up to the curve.  Dense mist starts pumping out of the steampipe on the top of the truck’s cab.  His eyes widen and he looks closer.  At the same time, he sits up.  Dark figures pour out of the truck.  He hears the soft sound of metal turning against metal.  The front door opens.  He detracts his claws and hisses. 

Four human female figures, all around the same height, and all dressed in black, stand in front of a much taller, masculine figure, also dressed in black.  The tall figure moves sluggishly.  One of the females, pulls out a large brass pistol, with an air cartridge on the top.  The muzzle of the gun has a pointy projectile protruding from it.  He feels a sharp pain in his left shoulder.  He cries out a warning, to his mom.

Chief Shabuni with Inspectors Harper and Campbell, charge through the front entrance.  They must have been watching from outside.  Tobey shakes his head and blinks his eyes.  It’s getting hard to focus.  There’s a scuffle between Chief Shabuni, the Inspectors, and the black clothed women.  Three of the women fight, while the one with the brass pistol, steps back and takes aim.  As he was watching the fight, Tobey forgot to keep an eye on the tall masculine figure.  There’s a familiar scent to the man.  A petrol smell mixed with lavender cologne.  The man is placing some contraption into the brass man’s chest.  With a hiss, he fights through his wooziness, and claws at the black clad man.  The man ignores him and starts to screw the contraption into place.  With all his remaining energy Tobey lets out another cry.  Then he slides back down into a lying position.  It’s getting harder to just keep his eyes open.

The man closes the brass faced man’s chest and pats Tobey’s head.  “S-s-sorry,” the man says in a familiar voice.  As the man walks away, a twirling sound comes from the brass faced man’s chest.  The brass faced man’s headlight eyes flash on and his clamp hand reaches for the books.

Tobey glances at his mom.  She’s asleep in her armchair with a needle in her neck.  He hears a thump followed by another one.  A moment later he hears a much heavier thump.  As the brass faced man walks away with the books, he notices bodies lying on the hall floor.  Some of the black clothed women are limping or holding their arms.  On the floor are Inspectors Campbell and Harper.  Closer to him, is Chief Shabuni, sprawled on the floor with one arm reaching in his direction.  All the blacked clothed women, but the one holding the pistol, start to drag Chief Shabuni towards the mist shrouded delivery truck.

Sorry Chief, Tobey thinks.  His eyes close and he rests his chin on the surface of the desk.  “I tried…to protect you.”  

***

Honourable Mention

That Cello Guy

Cremaine “ThatCelloGuy” Booker, is one of the first musicians on Youtube, who had me saying, “Wow!” and realizing how much I enjoy listening to cello music.

@thatcelloguy15

Nothing Else Matters

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There’s A Deal I’ve Made…  [Part 21]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

The Inventor

The Inventor, has his latest automaton, carry Mr. Clockwind outside. 

“Place him near the garage doors, Bowditch One,” he instructs the automaton.  He waits, until the yellow H4 chopper headlight eyes, of Bowditch One, blink in acknowledgement.  From the ground he sees the clockmaker stir.  “Soon the others will be here,” he says to Mr. Clockwind.  “You’ll assist them in repairing my automaton.  You’ll also help take, the books by authors who never existed from Mrs. Claws.  And if you have to hurt Mr. TLC to get them, think of it as, collateral damage,” he finishes with a scowl.

In the distance, he hears the familiar sound, of a powerful steam engine.  “Don’t worry,” he says, when he sees the confused look on Mr. Clockwind’s face.   “You’ll be dressed in a ninja outfit.”  Turning to the automaton, he says, “Place the contraption on his lap Bowditch One, so he doesn’t forget.  Oh, and also his toolkit.”

A delivery truck drives onto his back-alley driveway.  “Soon, it will all be over, Mr. Clockwind.  And you’ll go back to fixing clocks.  However, before that can happen, you and I still need to stay close.”  The Inventor walks around with one hand behind his back, while he wields a long cane with a skeleton handle.   “I have some unfinished business with a very powerful, influential, and enchanting associate.  She has a great interest in our Chief Dimoso Shabuni.”  He points at Mr. Clockwind.  “There’s a deal I’ve made.”  He hesitates before finishing with, “And you’re going to help me, conclude it.” 

***

The Inventor is portrayed by Brandon Gray.  The video clip and pictures are by his wife, Robin Gray, who also helped with the costume and did the makeup.

Robin Gray can be reached at @grayandwhitelaw  Custom Decor and Designs

Her new website is:  www.grayandwhitelaw.ca

Honourable Mention

Saharagirls

@saharagirls

A sax player and two violinists

I’ve never played the violin but I have played the alto sax

This quite the collaboration.

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Just Curious–? [Part 20]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

He doesn’t know who this individual with the brass mask is, but the blue eyes behind the goggles seem very human, and dangerous.  That’s when he notices the gloved hands appear human in shape.  Although, there is something strange, about the stranger’s left hand. In the stranger’s right hand, is a rotating brass barrel pistol.  The steam cartridge on the top of the barrel is oversized.  This is a gun designed to take on numerous opponents at close range.  The stranger slides his peculiar left hand into a pocket, where there seems to be something long and thin.

“I have a few tasks for you,” the voice snarls at him.  “Tonight, you will help me repair the automaton, currently at Mrs. Claws’ house.  Then you’ll be returning with me to my own shop, where I have further work for you to do.”

“Let me take off my optical visor and put on my glasses,” he says.  He turns his back and sets down the device.  Next, he takes off his optical visor and sets it on the ledge under the clocks on the wall.  He uses the metal rim of his glasses to write into the waxy surface of the wood: brass face – taken, before putting the glasses on, and picking up the device.

“You first,” the brass faced stranger commands.

“Of course,” he replies.  He starts to ask, “Just curious–?” when he feels a needle jab into his neck. 

                                                                           ***       

Bob Godglick (Mr. Clockwind) does repair vintage clocks.

He and his wife Dianne, and Lexi, the furry one of the family, are also fantastic neighbours and friends.

If you want to learn more about, Considerate Done:  Vintage Clock Repairs, below is an interview we did a few years ago:

Bob can be reached at:

Bgdm201@gmail.com

519-897-0419

Honourable Mentions (people I enjoy listening to and/or want to work with):

Cellistlidia (@cellistlidia) and Annaworldmusic (@annaworldmusic)

You can often see them playing together on their Instagram accounts

Lydia Alonso:  Lewis Capaldi  — Before You Go

Anna Kuzmina:  John Legend – All Of Me

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Is This What You’re Looking For?  [Part 19]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Mr. Clockwind, is hunched over a device consisting of an assorted size of gears. He’s so focused on the tiny bolt he’s unscrewing, that he almost doesn’t hear, the uneven steps coming up the stairs.  He sets down the device, and takes off his magnifying visors.  Reaching behind, to his work desk, he grabs a spring coil tied with wire, and a pair of pliers.  He shoves them into his pants pockets.

As the footsteps reach the doorway of his workroom, he picks up the device once again. 

“My understanding is, that my automaton, will be brought to you, on the morrow,” a wispy voice says behind him.  “I also learned, that part of him might already be here.”

Inspectors Harper and Campbell did bring him the device he’s currently holding.  A safety precaution, they had told him, since the automaton’s hourglass had been flipped.  He turns to the stranger and asks, “Is this what you’re looking for?”

                                                                           ***       

Bob Godglick (Mr. Clockwind) does repair vintage clocks.

He and his wife Dianne, and Lexi, the furry one of the family, are also fantastic neighbours and friends.

If you want to learn more about, Considerate Done:  Vintage Clock Repairs, below is an interview we did a few years ago:

Bob can be reached at:

Bgdm201@gmail.com

519-897-0419

Honourable Mentions (people I enjoy listening to and/or want to work with):

Galya Sky is a Lithuanian musician, who plays what is becoming my favourite instrument, the cello.  She also has a voice that will draw you into ethereal planes.

https://www.instagram.com/galya.sky.official/

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I’ve Got My Monocle, On You!  [Part 18]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Mr. TLC observes the humans talking in the kitchen.  He knows, when speaking cat to his human mom, he needs to repeat instructions over and over again.  Unfortunately, as with most humans, she doesn’t have the cognitive ability to understand the superior language, right away.  Worse, if she doesn’t have her hearing horn in, he has to gently swat her, to get her attention.

He hears Chief Shabuni talking on his steam cell to Mr. Clockwinder.  Tobey can’t wait for the clockmaker to arrive, so they can discuss the man with the brass face.  He listens more intently, as the Chief’s voice becomes frustrated.  The Chief just said that, since the clockmaker can’t get here today, they’ll transport the automaton to his shop tomorrow.

Tobey turns his attention to the hourglass on the brass faced man’s top hat.  As the grains trickle down, the needle of the pressure gauge hanging around his neck, show an increase in pressure.

                                                                           ***       

Although my artwork is rushed and conceptual, Jo Wermter creates amazing Steampunk Art. To see it go to:  gizmoroxon or Jo Wermter http://www.jowermter.com

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High Heels Were Invented For Cats

High Heels Were Invented For Cats

You’re sitting at the desk

Trying to write a paper

When a lean, furry form

Jumps on your lap

Expecting to be stroked along the back

Quite ready to take a nap

To level out the thighs

You have to raise up your heels

And stay that way

While a certain kitten stretches out

And purrs

High heels were invented for cats

To keep the thighs level

While they groom themselves

While lounging

On your lap

Featured

The Hourglass [Part 17]

The Hourglass  [Part 17]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Lady Evelyn Oolong

He glances down at Lady Oolong as they walk towards Mrs. Claws and Mr. TLC’s house.  “Really, he’s your father?”

Lady Oolong stares up at him and smirks.  “Chief Shabuni, you are so inquisitive.  I’ve heard about a person like you.  It’s whispered, that in one of the books by authors who never existed, a certain, very real, detective exists.  Do your eyes always move side-to-side like that?”

He halts.  “It’s called nystagmus.”

“Must mean you are magical.  You might want to wear special glasses.” Lady Oolong rubs her thumb along the drake handle of her cane.

“Your father wore special glasses.  Did he have any eye disorders?”  Two could play the game of distraction.

“I don’t know who my real father is,” she says, walking towards the front door.  “But Mr. Intrepid was as close as I got.”

He waited for her to say more but gave up as Mrs. Claws let them into her house.

“I brought tea, dear,” Lady Oolong says to Mrs. Claws. 

“Oh, that’s thoughtful,” Mrs. claws says, rubbing her hands together.  “Chamomile?”

“Much better,” Lady Oolong replies with a toothy smile.  “A mixture of chamomile, licorice root, tulsi and more.”

“That would be wonderful.  I’ll boil some water.”

As Mrs. Claws departs for the kitchen, he sees Mr. TLC bound down the stairs and leap onto the Salinas desk.

“This must be Mr. TLC,” Lady Oolong says.

“Protector of the house,” he replies with fondness.

“Well, you two talk, while I go into the kitchen to help Mrs. Claws.”

He steps closer to the now sitting Mr. TLC, and whispers, “Keep an on that one.”

Mr. TLC leaps off the desk.

He ducks under the lintel of the doorway to the kitchen. 

Inspectors Harper and Campbell are sitting at the kitchen table, eating sandwiches, Mrs. Claws must have made them.  Once she catches sight of him, Inspector Campbell wipes her mouth with her sleeve.  “Mr. Clockwind got caught in an emergency but should be here soon.”

“Well, that smells ready,” he hears Lady Oolong say from behind him.

“It does, and what a wonderful aroma,” Mrs. Claws replies.

“I must be going then,” Lady Oolong says.

He turns around, and sees the two ladies standing side by side in front of an ornate Chinese teapot. 

Lady Oolong smiles up at him with hooded eyes.  “I’ll let myself out.”

After many repeated goodbyes and thankyous for the tea, he sees Lady Oolong saunter up the walkway.

He turns to Mr. TLC.

“She—flipped—the—hourglass—on—the—brass—man,” Mr. TLC tells him.

***

Taylor Norris, RMT (Lady Evelyn Oolong): taynorris@gmail.com

My Jolly Sailor Bold—Mermaid performed by @_melegie

Perched Drake Cane by FireandSteel.ca

I just saw a fantastic steampunk post by @Hannah_redfoxcloset with art by @creadoresasueldo

One of the goals for these writing experiments is to include makers, and models of Steampunk.  Ben Lanzenstein of Switzerland creates Steampunk vehicles, weapons, and more.  I will be posting a short interview with Ben in very near future.  Meanwhile, you can see his work at:  ben_lanzenstein

Unwoman.com

Joanne Gosling (as Lady Marina Steamsail):  Jgosling@calclosets.com

Fireandsteel.ca Dragonrider Folding Knife

GRACEART Unisex Steampunk Top Hat with Goggles

Alivila.Y Fashion: Women’s Faux Leather Steampunk Corset Victorian Bustier Top

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Book Review of: Songs Of Bittersweet Memories

Book Review of Nandita Khandelwal’s poetry and picture book:

Songs Of Bittersweet Memories

Poetry is universally known as the language of the Soul.  There are many styles: prose, haiku, limerick, ballad, and more.  Each, creating a moment, an observation, a realization, or a connection with others who have wondered or experienced the same.  In Songs Of Bittersweet Memories, Nandita reflects, encourages, and puts words to what many of us have seen or felt. 

In her book Climate Change—Health Connection, Nandita writes as a master geologist.  In Songs Of Bittersweet Memories, she is a dancer, writing swirling verses, that make up a dance of stanzas.      

Available on Amazon

Contact details 

Instagram and YouTube  – @Nandita Khandelwal

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Did You Know, Mr. Intrepid?  [Part 16]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Did You Know, Mr. Intrepid?  [Part 16]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

As they step onto Nigel Street, he glances at the cane with the dragon handgrip.  A time, from many years ago, replays in his mind. 

Mr. Claws, and Ulysses, had brought back, mysterious gravity crystals. from one of their far north adventures.  Mr. Claws had allowed the Museum of Physics to put some of the crystals on display.  However, on a cloudy night, someone, or something, had broken into the museum, and stolen the crystals.  Chief Shabuni was called in by the Yard, to help investigate.  The Yard believed the thief had arrived by steam train from Londonera.

It was twilight, in late spring, in Scotlandterra, when the Chief saw a person with a top hat and wearing a gray Londonera Fog, trench coat talking to someone else.  The collars of the Londonera Fog were up, so he couldn’t see the person’s face.  Another individual, with the curves of a woman, was holding a pink crystal, the size of a small scrying ball, in her hands.  She wore a tight, black bodysuit, black corset, and midnight blue calve high army boots.  A black cape covered her shoulders.  With the collar up, he couldn’t see much of her face, only the tinted, brass goggles she wore under her bowler hat.

When he saw that the crystal hovered above the woman’s hand, he charged towards the two.  The person in the trench coat blew on the crystal as he pulled out a double barrel gun.  After the crystal landed on the woman’s hand, she shoved it between her bosom, while drawing a black straw from a pocket in her corset.

After that, everything became hazy.  He remembers touching his neck.  Feeling the feather of a dart.  He fell sideways onto the ground, staring along a street full of terra cotta, coloured buildings.  His eyesight cleared but he couldn’t move.  He heard the rapid steps, before he saw a determined man, with a cane, walking by.  The man was wearing a top hat with a ring of copper wire that held up miniature gears, and a silver music note charm, with a skull at the top.  The man turned in his direction, and he immediately recognized him. 

“Here, take this, before they catch me,” the man said gruffly, to someone he couldn’t see.  That’s when he noticed the skeleton key, without a gemstone, at the front of the man’s top hat.  The voice, and tiny, tinted glasses told him, exactly who this was.

“Did you ever meet a man named Mr. Intrepid?” he dared to ask.

“Of course,” Lady Oolong replied.  “He was my father.”

***

Taylor Norris, RMT (Lady Evelyn Oolong): taynorris@gmail.com

My Jolly Sailor Bold—Mermaid performed by @_melegie

Perched Drake Cane by FireandSteel.ca

I just saw a fantastic steampunk post by @Hannah_redfoxcloset with art by @creadoresasueldo

One of the goals for these writing experiments is to include makers, and models of Steampunk.  Ben Lanzenstein of Switzerland creates Steampunk vehicles, weapons, and more.  I will be posting a short interview with Ben in very near future.  Meanwhile, you can see his work at:  ben_lanzenstein

Unwoman.com

Joanne Gosling (as Lady Marina Steamsail):  Jgosling@calclosets.com

Fireandsteel.ca Dragonrider Folding Knife

GRACEART Unisex Steampunk Top Hat with Goggles

Alivila.Y Fashion: Women’s Faux Leather Steampunk Corset Victorian Bustier Top

Featured

Book Review of The New Age Herbalist

Along with writing fiction (currently Books By Authors That Never Existed: Steampunk hybrid), and fitness articles and videos, I will be talking about eco friendly technology and other matters that have to do with positive eco living.

In this video I discuss the advantages of getting a book such as, The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey.

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Have Some Valerian Tea [Part 14]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Lady Evelyn Oolong

Chief Shabuni hesitates at the hexagon glass store front with the double oak doors.  Engraved on the lintel in cursive gold lettering is, Lady Evelyn’s Oolong’s Tea Shop.  He climbs up the seven steps to the doors and bangs on the right door’s brass doorknob.  That the doorknob is in the shape of a wyvern, does not escape him.

The door opens, and Lady Oolong smiles graciously up at him.  She has her brunette hair done up in a twirling bun.  Pressing her lips against an old pipe she lifts her goggles onto her forehead.  Her grey shawl covers her shoulders and arms so that only her bronze-coloured corset and dress are visible.  She’s conveniently hiding, what he believes, is a very fit body.  The knee-high military combat boots she’s wearing, are a reminder, of how dangerous she likely is.  He can smell cherry coming from her pipe but sees no smoke.

“Come in, Chief Shabuni,” she says with a sweep of her arm.

As with Lady Steamsail, he feels unnerved by, what is for him, a tiny figure. 

She leads him past an assortment of tea drinking accessories to an ancient China cabinet.  “Let me boil some water.”

The perched drake cane, leaning against the China cabinet, is something that awakens his memories in a bad way.

Lady Oolong returns with a porcelain tea pot in the shape of an elephant.  “We’ll let it steep she says.”

He takes off his stovepipe hat and holds it against his belly.  Sweat starts to pour down his face.  Of all the people he didn’t want to deal with, it this group of merchants.  He knows they deal in magic; he can feel it.

“Chief Shabuni, you look a little stressed,” she says as she pores the tea into a China cup sitting on a saucer.  “Have some valerian tea.”  She pushes the teacup towards him.

From her tone, he knows the offer of the tea, isn’t just a suggestion.

***

Perched Drake Cane by FireandSteel.ca

I just saw a fantasic steampunk post by @Hannah_redfoxcloset with art by @creadoresasueldo

One of the goals for these writing experiments is to include makers, and models of Steampunk.  Ben Lanzenstein of Switzerland creates Steampunk vehicles, weapons, and more.  I will be posting a short interview with Ben in very near future.  Meanwhile, you can see his work at:  ben_lanzenstein

Unwoman.com

Joanne Gosling (as Lady Marina Steamsail):  Jgosling@calclosets.com

Fireandsteel.ca Dragonrider Folding Knife

GRACEART Unisex Steampunk Top Hat with Goggles

Alivila.Y Fashion: Women’s Faux Leather Steampunk Corset Victorian Bustier Top

Featured

What Would I Know About, The Other Place? [Part 13]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

What Would I Know About, The Other Place? [Part 13]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Lady Marina Steamsail wielding the Dragonrider folding knife fireandsteel.ca

Lady Steamsail tilts her head and stares up at him.  “A slab of ice that doesn’t melt?” she asks.

“One in which someone could see another place?”  Chief Shabuni has to shock her into giving away something in her expression or voice.

“You mean like a steam TV?” she asks, then gives a quiet laugh.

“Better quality,” he replies.

Her eyes turn away for a moment, as she purses her lips.  “I have heard rumours that Mr. Claws and Ulysses brought something else back, other than just the books by authors who never existed.”  She glances up into his face.  “But there’s all sorts of rumours floating around in this town.”

He nods his head.  Siku Claws and the giant Newfoundlandtir, Ulysses, always brought a great deal of excitement to Londonera.  Rumour was that Mr. TLC protected his human father, and dog brother’s findings, from everyone but Mrs. Claws.  “What do you think the interest would be in this slab of ice?” he asks.

“Well, if it can see into the Other Place, could it also be a portal?” Lady Steamsail replies, with an unconvincing shrug.

“Who would want it?” he asks, while watching her intently.

“What would I know about The Other Place,” she replies with a fake laugh.  She nonchalantly whips out the necromantic dragon knife.  “Sure you don’t want to take this away from me?  Could be dangerous,” she says with a menacing voice that does not match her beaming smile.

“No, you might need it.  There seems to be ninjas out stealing slabs of ice that won’t melt, and automatons trying to steal books by authors that never existed.  Thank you, and stay safe, Lady Steamsail,” he finishes with a warm grin.  “I’ll see myself out.”

As he walks towards Lady Evelyn Oolong’s Tea Shop on Tannic Street, he ponders Lady Steamsail’s comment on The Other Place.  The way she said it, sounded very much like it wasn’t the other place, but an actual place, called The Other Place.

***

One of the goals for these writing experiments is to include makers, and models of Steampunk.  Ben Lanzenstein of Switzerland creates Steampunk vehicles, weapons, and more.  I will be posting a short interview with Ben in very near future.  Meanwhile, you can see his work at:  ben_lanzenstein

Unwoman.com

Joanne Gosling (as Lady Marina Steamsail):  Jgosling@calclosets.com

Fireandsteel.ca Dragonrider Folding Knife

GRACEART Unisex Steampunk Top Hat with Goggles

Alivila.Y Fashion: Women’s Faux Leather Steampunk Corset Victorian Bustier Top

Featured

What Is It You Want To Know, Chief Shabuni? [Part 12]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

“Come with me Chief Shabuni,” he hears Lady Steamsail call, in a motherly tone.  Which he finds unnerving, since he’s sure he has ten or more years on her.

Lady Steamsail leads him up a staircase to its landing.  He glances from a shelf full of trinkets up to the wall itself.  Paintings of great sailing ships take up most of the space.  However, there is also a panoramic picture of soldiers from the Great War.

“I don’t recognize the ships, nor the uniforms the soldiers are wearing,” he says quizzically.

“Perhaps you haven’t come across them in any books, yet,” she says in a taunting lisp. 

He nods his head, and stares easily over her head at the picture and the paintings again.  Putting his symbolic detective hat back on, he asks, “Do you think the books Mrs. Claws has, would have any pictures such as these?”

Lady Steamsail scrunches up her face into a thoughtful expression.  “Could be.  Is that what you came to ask me about?”

“More so,” he says, staring down at her, “whether you’ve heard any rumours about a slab of ice that doesn’t melt.” 

***

One of the goals for these writing experiments is to include makers, and models of Steampunk.  Ben Lanzenstein of Switzerland creates Steampunk vehicles, weapons, and more.  I will be posting a short interview with Ben in very near future.  Meanwhile, you can see his work at:  ben_lanzenstein

Unwoman.com

Joanne Gosling (as Lady Marina Steamsail):  Jgosling@calclosets.com

Fireandsteel.ca Dragonrider Folding Knife

GRACEART Unisex Steampunk Top Hat with Goggles

Alivila.Y Fashion: Women’s Faux Leather Steampunk Corset Victorian Bustier Top

Featured

Questioning Lady Marina Steamsail [Part 10]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Lady Marina Steamsail

Chief Shabuni excuses himself from Mrs. Claws house.  The Clockmaker will be arriving soon, and Inspecter Harper and Campbell, along with Mr. TLC, will keep watch over Mrs. Claws, and on The Book Stealer.  He needs to do something else in the meantime.

He keeps thinking about the four thieves dressed as ninjas.  There wasn’t time to process what he saw before but now he realizes they all had womanly figures.  Lady Iris comes to mind but he won’t go near her.  Some call her a witch, while others, a sorceress.  Whatever, she is, she sees him as a source of magic, and that terrifies him.  Where he came from, albino children were often captured.  A limb or their entire bodies amputated.  Their bones dried and ground into dust to make tonics believed to contain powerful magic.  That leaves three others to visit.  Lady Elsewhere, the owner of the Krystal Jewellery store; Lady Evelyn Oolong, the Vintage Tea store owner; and Lady Marina Steamsail, the boat supplier.

He walks down Main Street, nodding down at passersby’s, as he turns left onto Cauldron Street.  A short time later he sees the river Thamesmar and a large steepled building made of cedar wood.  He steps up the marble stairs to an arched alcove.  Two oak doors greet him.  He takes a bronze handle in the shape of a dragon’s head, and knocks.

The door opens and he sees Lady Steamsail standing by a grandfather clock.  “Come in Chief,” she says with a charming smile full of venom.

As he enters the spacious hallway, he notices shark teeth, and helms wheels, decorating the walls between large, oil paintings of famous sailing ships.  He takes off his stovepipe hat, and asks in a weary voice, “I need to ask you where you were the other night?”

“Don’t you want to disarm me before questioning?” Lady Steamsail asks, proffering her very ornate knife.”

He immediately notices the knife’s handle is in the shape of a necrotic motorcycle, with the twisted body of a dragon.  He gazes up her pink skin to her charming, yet deadly smirk, to her engulfing, blue eyes.  Then he stares for a long moment, at the skeleton key earring, that hangs from left ear.  A tiny, tanzanite crystal glimmers from the centre of the earring’s head.  “That won’t be necessary,” he answers.

***

One of the goals for these writing experiments is to include makers, and models of Steampunk.  Ben Lanzenstein of Switzerland creates Steampunk vehicles, weapons, and more.  I will be posting a short interview with Ben in very near future.  Meanwhile, you can see his work at:  ben_lanzenstein

Unwoman.com

Joanne Gosling (as Lady Marina Steamsail):  Jgosling@calclosets.com

Fireandsteel.ca Dragonrider Folding Knife

GRACEART Unisex Steampunk Top Hat with Goggles

Alivila.Y Fashion: Women’s Faux Leather Steampunk Corset Victorian Bustier Top

Featured

“Owner of the Gemstone” poem/song

Video with music of the author reading “Owner of the Gemstone” from the epic, deep, and dark fantasy novel, BARD: Owner Of The Gemstone.

Featured

The Gravity Crystal [Part 9]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Lady Iris opens one of the glass doors of her China cabinet and steps back.  A large, teardrop crystal hovers inside.  The crystal is about as large as an egg holder.  She blinks against its constant prism of light and places her hand, palm up, below it.  She blows on the crystal.  As she pulls her hand out, the crystal follows.

As she brings it closer to her face, her own tiny crystal, that hangs from her gold necklace, shines blue.  A gift from The Inventor.  A gravity crystal, or more often called, an antigravity stone.  This is one of the many particularities to Eartherra, that does not exist in The Other Place.  Now that she has the panel of ice that does not melt, she can prepare the next step, in her grand scheme.

It’s too bad the Bookstealer didn’t succeed, already.  She closers her eyes and sighs.  She wants Mr. Toklo Claws and Avonlea Claws to succeed in finding a portal to The Other Place.  Perhaps, they’ll find their father without getting captured.  However, she doesn’t want anything from The Other Place to enter Eartherra.  She is a temptress, and one that likes to control.  She does not want a chasm of chaos to be opened.

She stares at the gravity crystal and tries to brush it with her index finger.  A smile crosses her face as it moves away.  She blows on it and this time the crystal lets her caress it.

*** One of the goals for these writing experiments is to include makers, and models of Steampunk along with musician and artists I have been following.  Maggie Boone (@missmaggiemoon) is an extremely talented musician and singer. When you go to her site you’ll see she’s also the creative director at Vignettes bar.

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I’ll See What I Can Do [Part 8]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

The Inventor wears an inconspicuous midnight blue cardigan poncho cape cloak with the hood pulled up.  It’s twilight and the Krystal Jewellery Store is about to close.  A song by Unwoman is playing within.  The Inventor watches as the last customer departs, before slipping inside.

The store is full of glass shelves with a variety of jewellery set quaintly on silk cloths of different colours.  Throughout the store shine kaleidoscopic prisms.

“I wouldn’t have recognized you,” a lively, young woman, with dark brown hair, and sparkling blue eyes, says to The Inventor, “other than your left hand is where your right should be.  You are the only person I know of who has two left hands.”

The Inventor hisses.  It’s the only other part, other than the heart, of The Inventor’s twin that The Inventor still has.  “Lady Raven Elsewhere, I need to speak with the witch,” The Inventor says in a raspy voice.  Someday, someday The Inventor will make a better voice box.

Lady Raven Elsewhere continues to lock up the glass counters as she glances back at The Inventor.  “She prefers, sorceress.”

“Vampiress, witch, sorceress, elder….”  The Inventor lingers on the last word.

“She definitely does not like to be called elder,” Lady Elsewhere says, correctively.

The Inventor sees a darkness flicker across the enchanting eyes of Lady Elsewhere.  They’re all witches, succubus’s, sorceresses, perhaps elders, or something else, not to be trifled with.  “The vile Maine Coon, Mr. TLC, hindered my Bookstealer.  Now the police have it.”

“Lucky you told Lady Iris of what you intended to do.”  With a sweet smile, Lady Elsewhere combs back her hair.

The Inventor sees a skeleton earring with an amethyst stone hanging from her left earlobe.

“You invented the Bookstealer?” she asks.

“Yes,” The Inventor replies, wondering what the cost will be this time.

“Just a piece of skin and a tiny vial of blood,” she tells him.

*** One of the goals for these writing experiments is to include makers, and models of Steampunk.  Ben Lanzenstein of Switzerland creates Steampunk vehicles, weapons, and more.  I will be posting a short interview with Ben in very near future.  Meanwhile, you can see his work at:  ben_lanzenstein

Unwoman.com

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BARD: Owner Of The Gemstone (an epic, deep, and dark fantasy novel)

BARD: Owner Of The Gemstone, is now available from Amazon as both an ebook and paperback book.

BARD: Owner Of The Gemstone
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The Inventor (Part 7) (Books by Authors Who Never Existed: A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

The Inventor leans over the next generation in automatons.  In a fowl mood, The Inventor is determined to get a hold of the books Mr. Claws left to his wife.  Books with knowledge The Inventor desperately wants.  To learn how to become invisible!  How to build a vehicle that can not only travel under the waves but stay below the surface indefinitely!  But that cat, that darn Maine Coon, Mr. TLC caused the Book Stealer to run out of steam!  The Inventor never liked that undersized tiger.  Neither did The Inventor’s twin.  Shame about the automaton.  Maybe the witch will help get the automaton back.  The image of her standing close, completely enthralled in his plans, while shaking her long, silken, raven hair, and staring with utter interest with those large, almond shaped eyes.  The Inventor jolts out of the reverie.

The Inventor and The Inventor’s twin used to torment that stupid Newfoundland dog, Ulysses, when they visited Mrs. Claws.  That nasty, miserable, vicious Mr. TLC was just a kitten then.  Yet, that malicious, horrible, evil kitten swatted The Inventor’s twin for bullying the slobbering, giant dog.  And Mrs. Claws defended that irascible, untamed—kitten. 

The Inventor’s beautiful, loving, understanding mother was horrified when Mrs. Claws accused her children of being untrustworthy, spoiled, and needing discipline.  Mrs. Claws even accused The Inventor’s twin of trying to steal one of the “precious” books her husband gave her.  What rotten people the Claws are!  The Inventor’s twin actually took two books.  Only one was returned.

The Inventor adjust the brass masks on The Inventor’s face.  During the Great War, The Inventor and The Inventor’s twin joined as Royal Engineers to learn more about explosives.  They were both, a little too enthusiastic, about adding mixing TNT, RDX, and ammonium nitrate together to make a bigger bang.  Afterwards, only one of the twins survived, that the world knows.  A genius doctor not only rebuilt the Inventor’s face but also added The Inventor’s sibling heart beside the one nearly destroyed.  Now endurance is never a problem.  But after studying The Steam Man of the Prairies by an author no one has ever heard of.  An Edward S. Ellis of Ohio, Maine, a place that exists on no known maps.  Perhaps that’s where that wretched Maine Coon came from.  The book is a marvel!  And now, The Inventor is more interested in becoming superior by melding machinery, with flesh.

*** One of the goals for these writing experiments is to include makers, and models of Steampunk.  Ben Lanzenstein of Switzerland creates Steampunk vehicles, weapons, and more.  I will be posting a short interview with Ben in very near future.  Meanwhile, you can see his work at:  ben_lanzenstein

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A Loud Noise and Chief D. Shabuni [Part 4]

A Loud Noise and Chief D. Shabani [Part 4]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Chief Dimoso Shabani

Tobey presses his face against the glass pane of the attic’s window.  He watches with interest, as a very tall man, wearing tinted goggles, and a dark violet stovepipe hat with a badge, walks towards his house.  

The man dwarves everyone he passes.  Few reach the shoulders of his storm blue overcoat.  The man’s pale, albino face is accentuated by the stiff uniform collar that hides his neck.

Chief Dimoso Shabuni is one of Tobey’s favourite people.  Huge, like himself, Chief Shabuni is also contemplative, and has the ability to pounce at any moment; just like him.

As he watches out the attack window the entire house shakes.  Tobey has to claw onto the frame not to fall off the windowsill.  Once the shaking subsides, he dashes downstairs.  The bronze faced man is still standing with his clamp hand reaching for one of the special books.  Mom is holding onto a chair gasping, but seems fine. He glances around.  A few vases are knocked over, and pictures hang at a slight angle but nothing seems to be missing.  He dashes around the rest of the house until he gets to the basement.  Where the slab of ice used to be, is now only a small, ornate box.  Tobey hisses.

***

Chief Shabuni blinks behind his goggles.  The Claw’s house just shook before his eyes.  He sees four figures wearing black body suits and green tinted goggles race towards a running steam engine truck.  He also notices that each one has a katana belted to their waists, and another along their backs.  On their shoulders they carry a rectangular object with two, two-by-six planks. 

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Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 3]

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2] (Books by Authors Who Never Existed: A Steampunk Hybrid story) By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Tobey scurries over to his adopted mother.  All four feet of him leaps onto her lap so that he’s staring eye-to-eye with her.  He swats her sewing needle towards the inanimate, brass man.

“Oh, Mr. TLC,” she chastises him with a mixture of her Mexicoterra and Irishterra accent.  Then she goes completely still.

Tobey sees her mouth open in shock as she notices the man with the clamp hand.  For a moment nothing happens.  Then his mom shoos him off her lap and fists her sewing needle.  He follows her as she cautiously walks towards the strange man. 

With her free hand she pokes the shoulder of the brass man.  Nothing happens. 

Tobey swipes the man’s left calve.  Still, there’s no reaction.  He jumps on the Silas desk in front of the man and sits there staring.  Out of the corner of his eye, he sees mom grab her ear horn, and head towards the brass and lacquer candlestick phone. 

He whacks the brass man again and waits.  Nothing happens.  He can hear mom talking to Chief Dimoso Shabani.  The Chief’s tiny voice says he will be over shortly. 

Tobey leaps off the desk and rushes up the stairs to the attic window to watch for the Chief.  His ears twitch constantly, so he can hear what mom is doing on the main floor; and if the brass man starts to move.

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Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Tobey dashes down the rest of the stairs and jumps onto the Salinas desk with the bookcase of special books that mother keeps as a reminder of father.  Through the arched entranceway to the living room, he sees mother reclining with a knitting needle and yarn.  She seems very complacent.  He yells at her in human but her brass ear horn is inconveniently lying on top of a night table.  One of the doorknobs of the front door creaks open.  There’s no time to physically warn her.  He hisses at the door.

The door opens and the man walks with determined and heavy steps directly towards the books.  Tobey waits atop the Silas desk because it’s directly across from the front doors.  He notices an hourglass attached to the belt on the man’s top hat.  The grains in the upper section are almost all gone.  The man’s clamp hand reaches towards one of the books.  Tobey swats it away.

Again, the man raises the clamp hand, and again, Tobey swats at it.  The steam coming out of a pipe in the man’s top hat is wispier now.  The clamp hand shakes as it tries to raise as the last grains of sand settle on the bottom of the hour glass.  The mechanical arm of the clamp hand drops to the man’s side.

Tobey swats the man’s face as a reminder of his supremacy.

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Books by Authors Who Never Existed–Steampunk Hybrid Story Blog 2

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer     Part 1

Concept artwork

As he scans the steeple roofed houses across the street, a long vehicle with a steam tank engine, dark windows, and copper green roof, pulls onto the curb in front of his house.  He peers closer as a man steps out the rear left door.  His shoulder muscles bunch up as the vehicle takes off.

The man’s black top hat has a spout that spews out steam.  As the man gets closer, Tobey leaps towards the stairs.  He dashes down to the landing so he can see through the lower windows of the front door.  The man has a gasmask on a brass face with bolts.  The top hat has a large clock, and the belt an hour glass that slowly trickles.  The collar of a brown overcoat hides most of the man’s face.  A little lower, a necklace made of thin coils holds a pressure gauge against the man’s white shirt.  The man keeps his hands in his pocket until he steps up to the door.

Tobey peers closer.  The man removes one of his hands from a deep pocket.  Tobey recoils.  The hand is a brass clamp with a metal swivel wrist.

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Books by Authors Who Never Existed

Books by Authors Who Never Existed

A Steampunk Hybrid Story

By Dan Watt: author of BARD

Tobey Lawrence Claws

Mr. TLC

Tobey, or as most humans prefer to call him, Mr. T.L.C., stares out the half radio window in the attic of his townhouse.  The monocular goggle over his left eye allows him to see clearly the townhouses across Nigel Street.  Like his own home, in the front of the other townhouses have about ten leaps of lawn and sidewalks.  However, his backyard is significantly longer.  Enough space for a workshop to build a model blimp.  That brings a moment of sadness.

When he thinks of Siku, his adopted human father, he feels a slight ache.  Moreso, he misses Ulysses, the father of Avonlea.  Ulysses and his slobbering joyful demeanor.  Tobey was just a kitten when Ulysses also adopted her.  His huge Newfoundland head and long thick nose; always sniffing for food.  That both Ulysses and Siku may be lost or worse, dead, bothers him endlessly.

With the monocular goggle, his human brother Toklo made him for his nearsighted left eye, Tobey can see interesting things.  He often gazes into the vertical slab of ice in the basement.  Strange ice.  He licked it once.  The surface is wet but no moisture ever stays on his tongue.

Occasionally, he would see movement within the ice.  Toklo believes that their father found a portal near the slab.  However, Toklo couldn’t explore any longer because of the harsh weather.  Now Toklo, and Avonlea are on an airship to rediscover the place.  Tobey isn’t keen on this adventure.  That’s where Tolko found the books, and the note left by their father.

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An Interview with Laura Suen, CEO of Fire and Steel

An Interview with Laura Suen, CEO of Fire and Steel

By Dan Watt

I met Laura Suen, CEO of Fire and Steel, at the 2018 Kitchener Comic Con.  She was extremely busy but gracious enough to let me take a few pictures.  I’ve wanted to interview her ever since…

Where did the creative idea to start Fire and Steel come from?

Well firstly, I always loved geeky things! My family didn’t have that much money growing up, so I remember taking so long to save up to go to Fan Expo – a comic convention — as soon as I could afford it.

My older sister is a huge geek and I really looked up to her as a kid. We would spend so much time gaming, reading fantasy novels, and watching sci fi TV shows. I of course was the generation that was raised on Saturday morning cartoons too, which included a lot of Japanese anime. Personally I also loved martial arts and do kung fu on the side, so Fire and Steel was just the perfect way to combine my love of martial arts with geeky things.

For legal reasons I can only use weapons designed or created by Fire and Steel on covers, such as the one for the weekly blogged story A Motley Sisterhood Of Pirates! However, Fire and Steel has a large assortment of weapons from a variety of styles and sources. Could you tell us about Fire and Steel’s own weapons?

So I use to work as a physicist and from that, I learned how to 3D model. It’s funny how programs that would be used to design laser ion traps can be used to design swords too. Not everything we carry is modelled by myself of course, but there are a few things that we’ve designed in house! I feel so honoured you’ve featured several of them on your book covers.

Fire and Steel has all sorts of weapons including ones we see in cosplay, magna, comics, TV shows, movies, and traditional. Could you talk about the Japanese katana?

We sell Japanese katanas of all types and quality levels, so we hope you will be able to find something that suits your needs! We sell wooden training swords called bokken and bamboo practice swords called shinai. These are traditionally used to train with and you’ll see those items showing up in anime all the time. From there, we have carbon steel katanas, which can take some light impact but are more made for display purposes because it is a softer blade. Beyond that, we also carry high carbon steel katanas, which are typically sharp (battle ready) in several different grades. The higher the number, the harder the blade. These blades can typically take a lot of impact and are what you see in a lot of our “Will It Cut” YouTube videos.

YouTube channel

I was watching some of the video clips on Instagram and Facebook and saw something very intriguing.

You have the exact same weapons in different grades from metal to foam. This would be perfect for making a movie or TV show. Have any of your weapons been used in movies or TV shows?

Yes! Actually I’m so honoured to say you can see some of our stuff in the background of shows like American Vandals, In the Dark, The 100 and Power Rangers just to name a few.

Your foam weapons look like they’re made of metal. Great for cosplay, LARP, or if a young person wants one of the weapons. Could you tell us more about the foam weapons and their uses?

Foam weapons are great as safer alternatives for people who want to train with swords but don’t want to hurt themselves. In addition, they’re great for cosplay since many conventions and festivals, for safety reasons, do not allow steel swords to be carried around as a part of a costume, even if they’re blunted. For this reason, many people see foam as a great alternative and it saves people a lot of time since you don’t have to make your own sword anymore for your outfit!

Fire and Steel can also design specific weapons for customers. How would a customer go about ordering one of these weapons?

We do take custom requests normally, but COVID has thrown a bit of wrench in schedules and timelines. Please feel free to send us an email at support@fireandsteel.ca for a quote if you want something made – but who knows? We might already have it made and you don’t even realize it!

Fire and Steel is on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Are there are any other links you want to mention?

Our social media handle is @RealFireNSteel for TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We also are active on TikTok as @RealFireandSteel too! Find us there. Also of course, check out our website for updates:

www.fireandsteel.ca

Fire and Steel will be at the

Ottawa Comic Con

November 19-21  2021

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fifteen: Blog Seventy-One):  The End, For A While…

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fifteen: Blog Seventy-One):  The End, For A While…

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Helmswomen “Wheel Turner” Sadie goes below deck on the Nagua,possibly for the last time.  

Walking past the half-shut cannon ports, she sees extra light from hanging lanterns near the centre of the Hull.  She reaches up and touches Canneta’s shoulder first, then Areso’s.  The surgeons are looking over two of the girls, badly maimed in the battle for “One Eye’s” Freya. 

Imani lies in a hammock, her left forearm bandaged over the stump, where her hand used to be.  Her hair is pleated and covered in beads and seashells. 

Sadie can’t fathom how Imani loops her hair over her forehead without it untangling.  “I’ll be missing you,” she says to Imani with unabashed tears.  The girl’s normally lustrous dark skin, now has a sickly grey tinge.

“Don’t cry for me,” Imani says with her Angolan accent.  “The “Ship Builder” promised to make me something special.  “Lose a hand, gain a hook,” she quips, causing Sadie to smile through her tears.

In the hammock beside Imani’s, she sees Niamh.  Niamh’s strawberry blonde hair sticks to her glistening skin.  Normally her skin is light but now it’s almost translucent.  Her right, bottom leg, is missing. 

She hears Imani shift over and sees her staring at Niamh.  “I and the “Ship Builder” will take care of her, sir,” Imani assures her.  “I reckon she’ll be a right, proper pirate, once she has a peg.”

The ship rocks hard.  She realizes the wind is getting rough up above.

Sadie bites down on her lower lip and nods.  She daren’t try to speak right now.  

“That she will,” she finally manages to rasp out.

She’s furious.  Storming up to the main deck she feels she has a singular purpose now.  Putting on a fake smile, she nods at the crew of the Nagua and crosses a boarding ladder to the Freya.  She heads directly to the Helm.

Getting the feel of the new helms wheel, she shouts, “Ready Captain,” to Olanis.

“Remember crew,” she hears Olanis say, as the boarding plank is pulled onto the Nagua, “It is a woman’s obligation to scorn.  We sail now to prepare.  But our memories are long.  We will have our vengeance, for all our fallen sisters!”

Sadie turns the helms wheel so the Freya moves away from the Nagua.  “Aye, Captain,” she says with the others, into the strengthening wind.  “Vengeance, we will have!”

The Nagua and Freya will be traveling towards their next destination for awhile now.  While they do, I will soon be introducing an as yet unnamed, Steampunk hybrid story…

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

El Cid Rapier held by Helmswoman “Wheel Turner” Sadie:  http://www.Blades-UK.com

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fourteen: Blog Seventy)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fourteen: Blog Seventy)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

A science fiction, action adventure, story-time, tale about mostly female pirates on the Nagua galleon helping others fight the Monstrous Captain Barthadrow and his vile crew.

Captain Olanis sits across from Admiral Alejandra in the Nagua’s Admiral’s room.  Lifting up a pewter mug half full of very limited Macieira Royal Spirit, she takes a sip as the Admiral talks.

“”Ship Builder” is distraught,” the Admiral says take a sips from her own pewter mug. 

Olanis will miss Alejandra’s sing-song accent. 

“He was searching for,” Alejandra says as she takes a gulp of brandy, “The Witch.”

“No luck?” Olanis asks, but she believes she already knows the answer.

“No, and he mentioned the bilge gives off a horrible reek.”

“Men,” Olanis says, and she and Alejandra laugh.

“It will be at least three weeks to get to the Deathly Shallows,” Alejandra tells her.  “We’ll need to careen both ships before we travel to Barthadrow’s Island.”  The Admiral makes a spitting sound and so does Olanis.

“Not the Pregnancy Ship?”  Olanis is aching to be with her man again, even if it was only a short while.  “Oh, well,” she says with a shrug, “what’s a while longer before the loins roar again?”  She’s a captain now, and responsibilities come before desires.  “I’ll make sure the girls keep up their weapons practice. and when we get to shallower water, they can collect reeds for bows and arrows.”  Captain Olanis smiles wanly at the Admiral.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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A Thank You to Everyone Involved in A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!

Soon the crew of the Nague and Freya from A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! will be sailing towards a new adventure. When that happens I’ll be starting a new blog story. This time it will be a Steampunk Adaption/Hybrid weekly blog.

A Thank You to everyone who helped out with A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! Letting everyone know I’ll be working on a Steampunk adaption/hybrid weekly blog story soon.

steampunk #pirates #fireandsteel #blog #writing

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A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fourteen: Blog Sixty-Nine)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Fourteen: Blog Sixty-Nine)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Captain Olanis listens as First Mate Zala calls out to all the girls.

“Our new sister ship, Freya, will be sailing near to the Nagua,” Zala shouts out.  “And thus, Captain Olanis has named Captain Alejandra, Admiral.  All those in agreement to naming our Captain, Admiral, say yea!”

Olanis peers at all those gathered and hears “Yea!” shouted out.

“All those not in favour yell nay,” Zala shouts.

Olanis sees Alejandra stand proudly on the fo’c’sle as the ship goes quiet.  She steadies her feet as the wind begins to pick up.

The Admiral steps up to the fo’c’sle railing.  Olanis watches as the Admiral gazes around the gathering.  “We are all sister,” the Admiral says in her strong, Dominican accent.  “And the wind is strengthening so we must sail.  Be fearless and wise, our sisters who leave for the Freya now.  For we follow in the path of Cannibals,” Olanis sees the Admiral glance at Melinda, “the Sames, the Real Talls, and our brothers in the Unbroken.  May the Surprise catch up to us, at the Deathly Shallows.”

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Thirteen: Blog Sixty-Eight)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Thirteen: Blog Sixty-Eight)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Amelie scowls as she is lowered down the side of the ship and into the sea.  The water is clear under the waves and she can see to the keel of the Nagua.  There is normally a large space between the stern and the rudder of the ship.  And sure enough, the Dixopus has made that it’s home.  She wonders if it is male or female but has no idea how to find out.  Well, I can only hold my breath so long, she thinks angrily.  She swims to the rudder and pokes the Dixopus.

Tentacles move away from the body so two giant eyes stare out from a long, oblong head at her.  The tip of one of the Dixopus’s tentacles taps her on the chest.

Amelie nods her head and swims back to the rope.  She yanks on the rope twice and feels herself being pulled up.  When her head breaks surface she gulps in air.  “I have to go back down,” she shouts up to Captain Olanis, “She-him-it won’t—” she starts to say when a tentacle wraps around her leg.  She kicks the tentacle off her leg.

“Pull her all the way up,” she hears Captain Olanis says with a chuckle.

Once she’s over the gunwale of the Poop Deck, Amelie bends over with her hands on her thighs and focuses on catching her breath before saying, “I’ll have to go back.”  When no one replies she stares up.  Captain Olanis, “Wheel Turner” and “Storm Caller” are looking beyond her.

With an amused stare Captain Olanis looks down at her.  “Now you can breathe while explaining to the Dixopus what you want.”

“Quelle!  What!”  Amelie exclaims as she stands and jerks her head around.

“Where were you!” she shouts out at the dixopus.  “Nous avons cinq soeurs!  Five sisters!” she says spreading the fingers of her left hand at the dixopus.

In reply the dixopus rears back, its head turning dark blue.  In one tentacle it raises a rusty sword, and in another a wooden sword.  It points its wooden sword at Amelie.

“Non,” she says wearily.  She slips on her shirt and other clothes, and points at the Freya.  “Domicile,” she says buckling in and sheathing her weapons.   “Home,” she repeats in case the dixopus doesn’t understand the better language.  Without waiting she starts to walk cautiously across the boarding ladder between the two ships.  An added weight to the ladder nearly sends her over the side.  Snarling she glances back.  The dixopus is behind her, standing on all ten of its tentacles.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Seven)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Seven)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

The rain doesn’t last and the sun shines through wisps of clouds.  Olanis rocks back and forth as Admiral Alejandra tells all the girls that Zala is now her First Mate.  Zala in turn calls for all the girls to line up.

“You have first choice, Captain Olanis,” Admiral Alejandra says with her feet apart and hands clasped behind her back. 

“After being asked, stand forward, only if you are willing,” Zala says.

Olanis gazes along the line of female pirates.  The two components she desperately needs are surgeons and cooks.  She stops before a tall girl with auburn hair that blows freely across a brown, lean face with freckles.  Her large, sharp green eyes are dazzling.  “Daktari,” she says.  She has seen Daktari often assisting Canneta and Areso.

Daktari steps forward and so does the girl beside her.    Raphaela is also tall.  Her determined blue eyes stare straight ahead as her own blonde hair whips about.  Her long, pale face is determined.

Olanis purses her lips and smiles.  She had wondered if Daktari and Raphaela were together the same way Canneta and Areso are.  “Raphaela,” she says with a nod.

She stops before Mesi and Arsema, who are standing beside each other.  It amuses her that two sworn enemies could function so well together.  Both girls often helped “Unibrow” and Janice in the Galley.  Surprising they excelled at cooking.  “Mesi,” she calls first.  Mesi steps forward.  This should be interesting she thinks as she says, “Arsema.”  Arsema steps forward.

“Pourquoi?” she hears Amelie complain behind her causing her to chuckle as she moves down the line.

“She picked me first,” she hears Mesi whisper.

“Because you’re needy,” she hears Arsema reply.

At the end of the line, she turns to Admiral Alejandra.  “Only one more Admiral,” she shouts out with mirth in her voice.

Admiral Alejandra nods her head with a smile and says, “Master-at-arms of Freya, Amelie, please strip down.”

“Aye, aye Capt…Admiral,” Amelie corrects herself.  Olanis hears her shoot off numerous curse words as she strips.  “Zut Dixopus,” she says as she’s lowered near the stern of the Nagua.

“Make sure your Dixopus doesn’t hurt my new ship,” Olanis shouts down at Amelie as her Master-at-arms sinks under the waves with a scowl on her face.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Seven)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Seven)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

The rain doesn’t last and the sun shines through wisps of clouds.  Olanis rocks back and forth as Admiral Alejandra tells all the girls that Zala is now her First Mate.  Zala in turn calls for all the girls to line up.

“You have first choice, Captain Olanis,” Admiral Alejandra says with her feet apart and hands clasped behind her back. 

“After being asked, stand forward, only if you are willing, lasses,” Zala says.

Olanis gazes along the line of female pirates.  The two components she desperately needs are surgeons and cooks.  She stops before a tall girl with auburn hair that blows freely across a brown, lean face with freckles.  Her large, sharp green eyes are dazzling.  “Daktari,” she says.  She has seen Daktari often assisting Canneta and Areso.

Daktari steps forward and so does the girl beside her.    Raphaela is also tall.  Her determined blue eyes stare straight ahead as her own blonde hair whips about.  Her long, pale face is emotionless.

Olanis purses her lips and smiles.  She had wondered if Daktari and Raphaela were together the same way Canneta and Areso are.  “Raphaela,” she says with a nod.

She stops before Mesi and Arsema, who are standing beside each other.  It amuses her that two sworn enemies could function so well together.  Both girls often helped “Unibrow” and Janice in the Galley.  Surprising they excelled at cooking.  “Mesi,” she calls first.  Mesi steps forward.  This should be interesting she thinks as she says, “Arsema.”  Arsema steps forward.

“Pourquoi?” she hears Amelie complain behind her causing her to chuckle as she moves down the line.

“She picked me first,” she hears Mesi whisper.

“Because you’re needy,” she hears Arsema reply.

At the end of the line, she turns to Admiral Alejandra.  “Only one more Admiral,” she shouts out with mirth in her voice.

Admiral Alejandra nods her head with a smile and says, “Master-at-arms Amelie, please strip down.”

“Aye, aye Capt…Admiral,” Amelie replies.  Olanis hears her shoot off numerous curse words as she strips.  “Zut Dixopus,” she says as she’s lowered near the stern of the Nagua.

“Make sure your Dixopus doesn’t hurt my new ship,” Olanis shouts down at Amelie as her Master-at-arms sinks under the waves.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Six)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Six)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

“Captain Olanis, if you would,” she hears Admiral Alejandra call out.  The first body is lowered to inside a hammock by three ropes.  Two ropes at either end and one through a grommet on the edge in the centre.

Olanis swipes her hand down the strings of her mandolin and sings:

Femi of Egypt, fallen but not forgotten

The wind is blowing harder now forcing her to sing louder.  As the first hammock touches the water the centre rope is pulled causing the hammock to flip.

Guilia of Italy, fallen but not forgotten

She continues as the next body is lowered.  There’s wetness in the wind now and the sky is darkening with angry clouds.

Toma of the Cheyenne, fallen but not forgotten

Lightning flashes through the sky and the air goes still.

Panambi of Guarani, fallen but not forgotten

The last body is pounded by the strengthening rain as its lowered and tipped into the ocean.

Belinda of Spain, killed by her own countrymen, fallen but not forgotten

She stops strumming her mandolin and closes her eyes as she lifts her face to the rain to wash away the pain.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Five)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Five)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Captain Olanis waits silently by the Mizzen mast.  She glances back at the Helms Wheel where “Wheel Turner” stands beside Aarini, quietly giving the new Helmswoman of the Nagua instructions on when to ring the bell. 

“Ship Builder” is on her ship, Freya, checking it for leaks and making any other necessary repairs.  She’s glad for him.  For Alejandra the other girls are like sisters.  But for “Ship Builder” they are his daughters and she knows the saying, a parent should never have to outlive their children.

The wind is getting stronger and her hair blows in strands where her new-used tricorn captain hat rests loosely on her head.  When and if they get “Flag Weaver” Thelma back, she’ll ask her to make a proper fitting tricorn hat.  Currently she’s wearing the hat of the former captain of the enemy ship, now the Freya, over a durag full of stuffing.  

Through her brimming tears she gazes down at the five bodies wrapped and tied in old sail.  However, she’s less a weeper and more an avenger.  She gently caresses her mandolin as Admiral Alejandra recites the burial rights of the Sisterhood of Pirates.

Farewell ye, sisters of the sea

Ye fought well, and ye fought true!

Now the life is out of yer eyes

But your memories live on…

Along with all the other girls, Olanis makes a fist and beats it against her chest.

Farewell ye, sisters of the sea

If your life was short or long

You lived it fully!

Wherever death takes you

Live like you did with us

Full of vengeance for the wrong doers

And full of honour and glory for your sisters!

Olanis thunks her chest with her fist again and shouts with the others, “And full of honour and glory for your sisters!”

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Four)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Four)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

“A word, Captain Olanis,” Captain Alejandra says after Olanis hugs each of the others.

Once they are gone Captain Alejandra waves her over to a map on the table.  “You don’t have enough stores on the Freya to make it to the Pregnancy Ship, and there’s not enough on the Nagua to compensate.  We need to get here,” Captain Alejandra stabs her index finger at an island with an inlet called Deathly Shallows.

“We’d have to anchor the ships in the mouth,” Olanis says as she squeezes her chin thoughtfully.

“Rumours are, lobster people roam there.”

“I thought that was a Peg Leg tale.” Olanis says in disbelief.

“Crazy Bumbee also spoke of it,” Captain Alejandra says with a shallow smirk, “before he tried to touch me without permission.”

Olanis nods her head.  “He might have been inappropriate but he did always tell the truth.”

“We lost five girls this battle, Olanis,” Captain Alejandra says, and Olanis can see the Captain struggling not to break.  “The Nagua and Freya must stay close enough so we can support each other.”

“Aye, aye, Admiral,” Olanis says with complete support in her tone.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

International Women’s Day

  • 3rd book of the Children of the Myth Machine

Thank You to all the women I have worked. Those on the slideshow and those who are not.

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Three)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Three)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

Inside the Captain’s quarters on the Nagua, Olanis sits across from the Captain, who is leaning to one side because of her wounds.  “Wheel Turner” sits beside her, sitting up anxiously.  On her other side is “Storm Caller” rolling a scrying ball in her hands.  Around the rest of the table are “Dizzying Blade” dancing a throwing knife between her fingers; “Ship Protector” sipping sake from a bottle found from the other ship; and “Ship Builder” sitting mutely staring at the interior of the room.

“What name have you chosen for your ship Captain Olanis?” the Captain asks with a wan smile.

“Ulfhild,” she replies feeling her heart beating rapidly with excitement.

The Captain smirks and leans forward with a grimace.  “Before the burials we need to divide the crew.”  “There has been some agreed upon changes.  Zala will stay with me as First Mate.  So will Navigator Jo Anne, “Ship Protector” Umi, “Ship Builder”, Master-at-Arms Sadie, and….”   She sees the Captain glance at “Storm Caller”.  “Aarini will stay on as Helmswoman.”

Oanis is shocked.  She turns to “Wheel Turner”.

“We’ve argued, and laughed together since we were wee bits,” “Wheel Turner” tells her with moisture wetting her eyes.  “You’re my best mate.”

Olanis’ lips tremble as she nods.

“Nippi,” the Captain continues, “Janice, and the “Cannibal” will stay.  So will Canneta and Areso.  You’ll need to pick cooks and surgeons from the older girls.  However, Arsema and Amelie will be joining you.”  Olanis hears the Captain murmur with gritted teeth, “and hopefully Amelie’s ever growing ten legged friend.”

Olanis bursts into laughter.

“I recommend Arsema’s as your First Mate to replace Aarini and Amelie as your Master-at-Arms.”

“Worthy choices,” Olanis says.

“Now we need to bury our dead at sea,” the Captain says.

Olanis peers around the table.  There are no smiling faces now.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

Featured

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Two)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  BOOK TWO  (Part Twelve: Blog Sixty-Two)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

With Zala, Amelie, and Ship Protector in toll, First Mate “One Eye” Olanis goes through each room and section of the enemy’s ship–her ship.

On the deck Canneta and Areso with the help of Janice and “Unibrow” are bandaging and stitching the wounds of the injured, including the Captain.  “Dizzying Blade” and “Storm Caller” are asleep against the Main Mast from exhaustion.  “Ship Protector” is swimming around the Nagua to see if there is any damage.  Arsema will do the same to the new ship as soon as it’s confirmed no enemy remain alive.  The Cannibal Melinda looks deathly pale but not from wounds.

The outlay of the ship is nearly identical to the Nagua’s.  As they enter the Galley, Olanis notices the enemy cook is bleeding out by the stove.  He has a beautifully crafted espada ropera laying beside him.  She picks up the rapier.  “ “Dizzying Blade” will appreciate this she says with a grin.  Next, she undoes the sheath and grimaces as the cook’s blood drips off it.  At least she doesn’t need to kill him—he’s already expired.

With a grunt Ship Builder pulls the heavyset body towards the doorway to the deck.  “Let’s check out the rest of the ship she says, deftly stepping over the bloody streak left by the dragged body.

They open the hatch to the Hold.  “Ready?” she asks Amelie who is holding a short cross-bow found on one of the enemy sailor’s corpses.

“Oui—yes,” Amelie answers tiredly.

Olanis steps down the stairs.  There’s enough light coming through the open cannon windows to see.  “Dizzying Blade” had been down here.  The corpses of male sailors are everywhere.  She sees a few female pirates.  Belinda, a Spanish girl lies still near Karidia, a girl from the Ivory Coast.  She has to keep her composure.  As the captain of this ship, she must high her true feelings in front of the crew.  She gently brushes away the damp bangs that cover Belinda’s eyes.  The eyes stare lifelessly back.  “Rest love,” Olanis whispers as she pulls the girl’s eyelids down.  She goes over to Karidia.  The girl is still breathing. 

Olanis waves for Zala and Amelie to come down.  She carefully feels around Karidia until she her fingers touch sticky dampness.  “A belly wound just above her navel,” she whispers. 

Amelie passes her crossbow to Zala.  “I will get the Ship Builder,” she says quietly.

Zala stands by the stairs. 

“You’re going to make it,” Olanis assures Karidia as she cuts the sleeve off one of the dead enemy sailors.  She makes sure it is fairly clean before she wraps it around Karidia’s waist.

“Belinda?” Karidia asks in her Ivory Coast accent.

“No, but the two of you helped win the day,” Olanis says with as much enthusiasm as she can muster.  Belinda’s death and that Karidia may survive have brought her closer to the feeling of motherhood then she ever thought possible.

Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com (Kitchener-Waterloo)

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie

With Thanks To:

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures

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