Male Gaze in Fantasy Novels: Authentic Characters or Problematic Writing? — Realms of My Mind

Interesting question and worth a good read. What are your thoughts? To read this post in its entirety click the link below. Comment, like, and follow my blog for other curated thoughts from amazing fantasy writers.

We’ve all seen it before: boy on a quest to save the world sees a girl and is instantly captivated by her beauty and falls in love. It’s a trope as old as “skin as white as snow, lips as red as roses.” Now I enjoy a charismatic hero and have no problem with a […]

Male Gaze in Fantasy Novels: Authentic Characters or Problematic Writing? — Realms of My Mind

Fall of the Drjeen – Book excerpt

Chapter 1

The third moon, Espee, light as an orange mist and hovering as if it had no care perched at the quarter-angle above the lower settlement. It’s crest slowly dropped along the jagged silhouette peaks of the Varn Mountains. The peaks glowed white as the rising sun announced its presence far away before ascending the valley.

Shakja was in no mood to hurry her time, knowing she was already destined to be late. The farms can wait, she thought to herself as the thick callus of her feet trudged forward through her hut. The doorway was open and in the light of the morning, her scales shimmered effervescent colors of blue, yellow and green hues. She was by all classifications stunning. Her body was lanky, yet her muscled neck perched her head tall as if she was beyond her caste. Her deep blue eyes penetrated the surrounding huts—thousands of them—nearly piled one upon the other as the lower caste was seemingly a breeding ground of fertility; always growing.

Despite the nature of her physical looks, no matter how often she stared into the reflective Third Moon Lake, she couldn’t shake the fact that among the Drjeen, beauty was second to caste. Her hut was only big enough for her to walk with care. She could not expand her wings without damaging the walls made from the leaves of Gilli fruit and patched with swamp root. Sometimes she wondered if she would not be more protected from the elements by simply laying outside and allowing the vastness of her wings to cover her like shade. She knew better though, and while she sat low on the Drjeen standard, there were lower; those who actually did use their damaged wings as a home. It was not a place she would choose to be.

Shakja’s hut was only a few leaps from the Third Moon Lake, one of the two largest farm camps within the Eastern Continent. “It is better to be the highest of the low than the lowest of the low,” her friend Salett whispered to Shakja only a few nightly turns ago. “True,” Shakja replied, “But, I would still prefer to be the lowest of the high than the highest of the low.”

Salett smiled, knowing that with either case, wishing was no way of changing what was predestined.

As the moon fell toward the horizon it kicked up the pull of waves sending a fresh and welcome breeze across the broad scales on Shakja’s chest. She stepped fully from her hut and took in the expanse of beauty. The misty reflection of the moon mingled with the morning rise of yellows and oranges. A pink swath of clouds subtly speckled the sky and Shakja couldn’t imagine a place anywhere in the world that was as beautiful. Salett would be arriving at the farm by now and Shakja relented that her tardiness would lend her another task befitting more of the brutish broad-shouldered male than her slender frame. Still, it was worth it.

With a long-drawn sigh, Shakja unfurled her expansive wings and revealing the full lightness of her underbelly which was covered in curved and equally as impressive scales. She bent her head back, allowing her thick protective spine to stretch taut along the skin of her forehead and running sharp and straight along her back and down to the upper third of her muscular tail. As her wings took in the morning light, replenishing her energy she could feel the pumping of blood filling the three primary arteries stretched along the fullness of each wing and coming together at the single clawed-finger where the upper and lower wings met. As her wings were stretched, she allowed her three-fingered taloned-hands to crack at the joints and drop from the underside of her shoulders. She was careful to not allow her sharply-taloned thumbs to scratch or cut through the leathery strength of her wing. She could not turn her mind from the number of Drjeen who injured their own wings during the morning energy-stretch. One would think a Drjeen should be more cautious. In all her forty years Shakja proudly showed her unmarred underwings as a testament to her flawless detail in all endeavors.

Two Drjeen flew a mere fifty lengths from her, both broad and strong. The second looked in Shakja’s direction, dipping low to show his interest. Shakja wondered if she was showing the perfectly tri-angled projection of her head, or if her two horns were radiating the morning light. The frilled webbing of her ears began to shutter as she took in the vibration from the second male. Indeed, she thought, he’s interested. I should remember his vibration for the next morning flight.

Understanding that even she could not dally too long, Shakja lowered herself on her mighty haunches and with a great burst of strength, she pumped her wide and narrow wings engulfing the surrounding air to force her own violent draft which propelled her upward over a hundred lengths. At her pinnacle she allowed her wings to hold the wind and she glided effortlessly downward and swooped into an elegant line of direction toward the farms. Her speed was renowned and within moments she would feel the exciting vibration of the second male one more time as she passed him and dozens more on her way forward and to the base of the Varn Mountains.

The Third Moon was already touching the jagged peaks ahead as Shakja descended a few lengths. She ominously took note of the lush greenery off to her strong-side flank. While beautiful, it also represented a place Shakja had no interest in being banished. She’d heard the stories. The banished lose everything; all possessions and contact with family and friends. While formidable in her own right, a Drjeen without weapons or the strength of comrades was a mere rodent to the heinous creatures lurking amid the forest. Those few who survived banishment would face the strict law of absence where no Drjeen were allowed to acknowledge the banished Drjeen’s existence. They walked as ghosts.

She shook away the deathly vibrations playing on her outer scales as the warmth of the sun began to fuel her strength. Soon, the blur of land below her turned into an expansive growth of green, red and yellow vegetation. Orchards of Gilli trees were off to her weak flank and ahead countless units of the farm. She spotted her foreman, Gradjn, and even from her distance could see he was in a mood. She dropped her elevation to thirty lengths and re-positioned her flight, angling toward the foreman’s hut. The hut sat in the center of the main courtyard. She adjusted her wings to grip the oncoming air allowing her to change from flight to land. Suddenly her wings sprung out flat, grabbing the oncoming winds. Her muscles flexed and head jerked back sharply as she came to a sudden mid-air stop allowing her to land erect on the sandy floor below and within feet of her foreman.

Shakja tried to count the number of times she’d been late, realizing she was still three times short of banishment. She’d never been so close, but she also knew Gradjn, while likely upset, had an affinity for her.

“You’re late!” He barked before he’d fully spun around to face her. “Again…” He shook his broad neck and Shakja could see the full pulsing veins pumping through his closed wings. Not good. She did not forget that banishment could come at any time and whether a favorite or not, her foreman had a job to do and that always came first.

“I’m sorry my master,” she quickly sputtered, dropping her shoulders as if to embrace being struck by the whip at his side.

He looked at her, “Very well. Go clean the Daken pens.”

“Yes, sir,” she nodded, not looking up at him. She quickly scurried off to the Daken pens hoping that she’d curried favor enough to not see him again for the rest of the day. Besides, there were worse places to work than the Daken pens.

Book three of the Blue Star Series is coming in July 2020. If you need a quick refresher you can buy books one and two below.

Fall of the Drjeen
Birth of the Drajeen

Night of the Dragon (book review) a perfect ending to an amazing series — The Everlasting Library

I am the author of the Blue Star Series, and my third book, Rise of the Drajeen, will be coming out in July 2020. I spend each morning reading through blogs looking for unique insight into the world of writing. I do this both for myself and for those I’m blessed enjoy spending time with me.

My blog presents a mix of blog posts supporting my work, providing humble guidance, and curated writings of other writers and inspiring posts.

Today I would like to share a book review I found on “Night of the Dragon.” This is a definite add to my steaduly growing reading list.

Please click on the link below to read the book review in its entirety, like, comment, and follow my blog for more great insight from amazing writers and artists.

Hola amigos! I hope you are all doing fabulous! I’m at a point in lockdown where I’m so bored, I end up doing a ton of workouts which is brilliant because it’s actually a positive use of my time?! even though i ache all over ugh Today I am going to be reviewing the brilliant […]

Night of the Dragon (book review)// ft. a perfect ending to an amazing series — The Everlasting Library

Common Fiction Writing Mistakes — Nicholas C. Rossis

I love seeing posts about writing mistakes as much as I love reading inspiring stories and writing advice. This was an article I found during my morning blog reading. Nicholas C. Rossis took these mistakes he agreed with from two other blogs and provided his insight. Please click below to read the entire article, and if you are interested in more content like this please take the time to comment on this post, like, and follow my blog.

I came across a nice thread on Quora (here and here) about common mistakes in fiction. I am sharing here the ones that I agreed with. I found particularly interesting to see which mistakes different people mentioned, as many of them contradicted each other. This makes perfect sense to me: reading is a highly personal […]

Common Fiction Writing Mistakes — Nicholas C. Rossis

Why do people write fiction? by Frank J. Fleming — According To Hoyt

I really enjoyed this short article. To be fare, I didn’t realize how much of my life and beliefs into my books, until reading here. Time to re-evaluate myself. Please read by clicking the link below, and if you love this kind of content, I’d love for a follow, comment, and like.

Why do people write fiction? by Frank J. Fleming For one reason only: It’s a great medium to indoctrinate people with your political views. An author only feels like he’s done a good job with his story if the reader either goes away having the correct views or becomes very angry that the author made […]

Why do people write fiction? by Frank J. Fleming — According To Hoyt

Rise of the Drajeen – Cover Tease

Hey Everyone!

I’m very excited to announce that I am almost done with the third book in the Blue Star Series, “Rise of the Drajeen”.

When I first began writing about the planet Jeen I had not envisioned a series of books. My first thoughts were a stand-alone book, but here we are on number three. Will there be a fourth? I guess that is to be determined, but the stories sure are popping about in my head.

In the coming weeks, I will share excerpts from “Rise of the Drajeen,” but for now, I hope you will be satisfied with the cover (minus back text).

The Drjeen have split into two races, one to the east and one to the west. The inevitability of a great war is on the horizon, but can the Drajeen defend their new territory before the ruthless Daejeen wipe them from the planet? I guess you’ll have to see.

Haven’t read book one or two? Binge read before “Rise of the Drajeen” comes out in July 2020.

What studying literature teaches us about writing novels — Uninspired Writers

As I focus on my third novel in the “Blue Star Series” I find that I am curating more blog posts than I am writing. This is because there are so many posts out there. For me, there are few posts better than those which help you find inspiration, or dig deeper into the world around us. In this post by M.L. Davis, we find how turning to literature is a great way find your writing style, or develop your abilities.

Please click on the link below to read the entire article at Uninspired Writers.

If this is the type of curated content you’d like to see on my site, please like, share, and follow. I’d love to hear more about your inspiration or how you develop yourself into becoming a better writer.

Learning is important to all writers. And the exciting thing is that we learn all the time. Every word we write, every word we read, brings us more understanding and knowledge and skill. It is a game of practice and discovery, being a writer. I’m a uni student, and in studying English Literature and Creative […]

What studying literature teaches us about writing novels — Uninspired Writers

Writing: How to keep distractions aside

Right now I am sitting here writing. The sky is dark. The grass outside my sunroom office is curiously green, a brightness I’d expect upon following the yellow brick road into the emerald city. Lightning bursts shatter the monotony of an overwhelmingly humid afternoon. And I’m distracted.

There are several behaviors that create a great writer. But, more, there are exceptional behaviors and practices that manage the difference between a good and great writer. Great writers have the ability to move past personal obstacles such as procrastination and put aside distractions so they can continue and complete books.

Did you know, that when asked, “What has prevented you from writing a book?” the most common response is, “having the motivation to finish it.” There is a difference in writing between adequate, good, and great writers. But, more, there is a difference in the ability to complete. Great writers are great because they continue to plug away. When others give up, great writers persevere.

Today, I’d like to share a simple, yet effective tool to help you focus on your writing and avoid distractions. Admitedly, I don’t use this tool consistently. I pull it out – my big guns – only when needed. That means I pull this tool out when I can’t focus, when I am jumping down the rabbit hole of Google, or when the thought suddenly arises, how do I build a grass tennis court?

So, how do I manage my distraction? With a notebook and pen.

Yep, you read that right. My only tool to manage distraction is a writer’s go to. In my early twenties I realized that my mind was everywhere. I couldn’t focus on anything. Some people call it multi-tasking. I called it multi-tasking. But, then, I was reading a book and the author mentioned that there is no such thing as multi-tasking. You may be able to move different parts of your body at the same time, but the reality is that you are never multi-tasking. You can only do one thing at a time. What people call multi-tasking is doing many things, one at a time, in a short period of time. For example: Writing your book, you answer a ringing phone and talk for a minute, then your kids walk in and ask you to make a snack, then you sit back down to write, then you text your friend. That is six things, but not multi-tasking. For each of those things you started, stopped, and started something else. This is what most people mistakenly call multi-tasking and its highly inefficient.

My worktime is important to me. If I am not working then I am not making money. I don’t have a company who will pay me regardless of what I’m doing. So, when I sit down for four hours, I better be working during those four hours. That’s where my distraction notebook comes in.

As I’m writing, anytime I feel distracted, want to look up a random fact, or are thinking about a conversation I flubbed, I turn to my notebook and write a quick note down to come back to that thought when I am done writing. Then, when I am done with work, sitting in front of the TV, or just putsing around the house I go through my notebook to see what I want to look up. More often than not, those overwhelming questions I had don’t matter in the least. I have no interest in looking up the answers when I’m done writing.

This is a simple, yet effective tool to keep yourself focused on the task at hand. It’s not rocket science, but it does work.

How do you keep yourself focused when writing? I’d love to hear it in the comments below. And please follow my blog, like and comment. If you are a lover of fantasy, please check out the books below and don’t forget to leave a review!