Crucibles, Not Comfort

Crucibles, Not Comfort

Magic is imagination’s song. Crafted by skillful hands, inspired by able minds, it leaps the gulf between what CAN’T BE and what IS. Cynics dismiss it. Fate undoes it. But with passion, hard work, and will, the future manifests from nothing. It’s not easy, but then, miracles never are… That tale is ours. We craft it every day we are alive. For every day is magical, even the bad ones. ESPECIALLY the bad ones, for they teach us to be strong. Why faerie tales? Because such tales inspire us. They remind us to see gold within straw, to recognize the Read more »

Under an Enchanted Round Table

Under an Enchanted Round Table

What a beautiful evening it was. That brilliant sky-cathedral arced overhead like a gateway to eternity, sun sparkling across the waves, igniting them with Nature’s impossible passion for itself. Cascades of colors too rich for words to capture painted that sky and everything beneath it blazing. Some teenagers passed a Frisbee back and forth, their skins orange in the dusklight. A girl about my age did yoga in the sand. A pair of gray-haired dudes meandered like lovers, ankle-deep in surf. Far off, the buoys pitched and rolled, warning off the ships that slid through distant currents. Evening fog drifted Read more »

"Where Can I Find your Fiction?"

"Where Can I Find your Fiction?"

They strain: wolf and woman, struggling. Red cords burn across their skins, biting deep enough to bleed. Rich scents coil as they breathe, reaching in and drawing out again. The wolf thrashes in her grip. She dodges its teeth and wrestles it down. Locking eyes, they snarl. The sound becomes one with the ocean’s roar. It pulls her, draws her, taunts her, dares her. Furious, she dives… Thrashing, spinning, no air, no light. Cold weight, dragging. Darkness. Sand. Shedding bonds. Shedding leather. Bursting up through cold sharp stars. Up above, a chill moon glaring. Slivered. Rimmed with fog. Furious, she sputters. Gasps. Starts to Read more »

Green-Room Writing: The Scenes They Never See

Green-Room Writing: The Scenes They Never See

Not everything in a story happens on the page. When an author writes material that occurs “offstage,” that so-called “green-room writing” may inform the events that the audience sees. Giving foundations for the characters, their motivations, personalities and activities, green room writing may well feel like wasted effort. Trust me, though – it’s really not. I coined the term green-room writing when describing the many false starts I had with my short story “Ravenous.” An intense urban faerie tale inspired by my experiences in a heavy-metal group, “Ravenous” featured the implosion of the narrator’s band in mid-gig. The story’s first Read more »

Mage 20 Q&A, Part II: Who's Satyr, and What Does He Have to do With Mage?

Mage 20 Q&A, Part II: Who's Satyr, and What Does He Have to do With Mage?

PART II: A SEATTLE SATYR IN THE WORLD OF DARKNESS COURT (For Part I, click here.) (“Verbena,” from Mage: The Ascension 1st Edition; art by Michael William Kaluta.) Q: What’s your involvement with White Wolf, Onyx Path, and the World of Darkness? That short question has a very long and complicated answer. I’ll just give you the relatively simple version of events – it’ll still keep us busy for a while. I’d been a professional writer for around two years when my college friend, roommate, and gaming buddy Bill Bridges went to work for White Wolf in 1992. At the Read more »

Mage 20 Q&A, Part I: What IS Mage, Anyway?

Mage 20 Q&A, Part I: What IS Mage, Anyway?

PART I: WHAT’S MAGE, AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?   Q: For people who may not know about it already, could you please describe what Mage: The Ascension is all about, and tell us what Mage means to you? Put simply, Mage is a collaborative story-telling game about people who believe in what they do so strongly that their beliefs literally change the world. Such power, though, is dangerous. And because these “mages” – devotees of magic, faith and science – disagree about how it should be used, they wind up fighting shadow-wars to advance their various beliefs. Some pursue Read more »

A Testament of The Fragile Path

A Testament of The Fragile Path

…And I have seen it pass sterile into textbooks, just more facts to be learned to please a stern tutor, then forgotten when the lesson is over. But the lessons of the Awakened must never end. By the divine Avatar within each of us, we are bound to history just as we are charged to create it. We, of all mortals, cannot forget what has gone before us. Nor can we shunt it into scraps of paper and shove it onto library shelves, just another book to be checked out when required. We are history, the past, present, and future incarnate, Read more »

Some Writerly Advice/ The Four Questions Approach

Some Writerly Advice/ The Four Questions Approach

When a fan asked me this morning if I had any advice, I dashed this off. Thought it might be of interest to other folks as well. Enjoy!  ___________________________________________ Write. Read. Polish your work, and always look to improve it. Write and format your material to professional standards. You’d be amazed at how few people actually do that. Speaking personally, I am a habitual voracious reader. I read EVERYTHING, and I read all the time. I also keep index cards in my pockets, with at least one pen. My first mass-market publication (“Elynne Dragonchild,” in the anthology Sword & Sorceress Read more »

Wyldsight: Tales of Primal Fantasy

Wyldsight: Tales of Primal Fantasy

I gave my voice for love, and drowned myself in silence. For him, I walked on knives and left my weightless seas. I bargained with my fear and turned aching eyes toward the sun. And for this, he left me and gave his heart to someone else. The song of my sisters calls to me across the waves. I hear the thunder of my father’s voice. Alone on shore, I clutch the instrument of liberation in my pale and unfamiliar hands, weighed by the gravity of this new and hostile world. Even in its dimmest light, the realm of my Read more »

Next Big Thing: Holy Creatures To and Fro

Next Big Thing: Holy Creatures To and Fro

“Don’t run off too far, Sarah,” said my father. But I guess I did. Sarah was me before I was Silk. I became Silk because Sarah couldn’t run away. I was five or so when my father took me walking to Woodside Park. It was just a few blocks away from home, but to me it felt like miles. There, rough concrete gave way to soft gray powder and chips of shredded wood. I swept out hieroglyphs with my toes, stomping up little clouds of dust. Despite sneaker-prints and an old mitten in the dirt, the park was empty save for us. Read more »