Alcon Valley may be a small town, but Martin and Mayor Tom Ghundie are not the only ones there. But Martin is the only elf there.
I've started this story dozens of times, and nothing has really moved the story along. This is the latest beginning, and although I think there's too much info-dumping (even in dialogue—YIKES!), I do like it. I especially like Seraph and Delaran, thought I'm not sure if Delaran comes accross as strongly yet (nor if he could, considering his personality). Anyway, here's the prologue—even though prologues generally aren't really my kind of thing. It's set in Aldora.
The opening scene of the novel, Paladin and Fauna spending a day together at Paladin's farm, continues. I guess it's obvious now that even my more epic stories (which this one definitely is) don't have the 'smack, boom! here we go' that drive most epics.
You are now going to be subjected to my tendency of non-linear chapter flow and all the aggravations it can bring you. We catch up with Alicia and Martin about one month later.
Have you ever wondered why people name elves 'Xinthi'a Farusto'li Liam?' I have. My elf, the main character of this novel, is named Martin. And he doesn't have magic oozing out of his fingers. He has abandonment/anger issues. And a jerk for an elected representative. Enjoy. Note: this was updated April, 2007. The only significant change is the name of the mayor.
One day, while perusing the little corners all over the Wood, I discovered a little gem written by Alyssa George, a wonderful little story about her muse and the digital sludge that we all have to put up with, Microsoft Word. Then, a little while later, I found a similar gem—this time a story in which The Office Assistant is killed. It also introduces the world to the muse of Cecily Webster, a brainless little moth.And so, I decided to add my little bit to their depiction of MS Word's attempt to take over the world: THE BIRTH OF THE PAPERCLIP. I also use this story to introduce the world to my muse: an obnoxious little fairy with red wings who likes to distract me from whatever story I'm trying to focus on.Doink!*Fairy scowls at me for insulting her and her ... um, 'wisdom'?*
When survival is in question, all other concerns seem to disappear. And then, once survival seems likely, it's amazing how other issues come rushing back.
This is my contribution to BiFrost's 'Winter Magic' project. Because most of Bifrost is made up of artists, and because there's a whole lot more personal investment required to read a story than to look at a picture, I generally make my Bifrost contributions relatively short poems. I've always been a winter-dude. My idea of paradise is Finland or Alaska. This poem came about as I wondered why on earth elves seem to spend all their lives in nice, plush forests. Don't they know what they're missing?
The Whisper Wood is my dream world: the people fly, dragons rule the mountains, music and dance are wild and intoxicating, and heroes arise because of the quality of their character — not because of their swordsmanship or magic skills. Chapter 1 of this legend introduces us to the two protagonists: a farmer named Paladin and a princess named Fauna. Oh my! That was painful to write. Suddenly everything about the story seemed like a cliche. Hopefully you'll read on and I've written well enough to persuade you otherwise.
Welcome back to the friendly town of Alcon Valley, where they burn down inns and murder people without explaining why. And meet Alicia Ghundie, the mayor's daughter.
Though fantasy typically focuses on the epic and grandiose, I've always been more interested in the ordinary lives of ordinary people in fantasy worlds. The issues just seem more meaningful to me — 'What is the meaning of magic among common people?' for example. And so, here is the story of a magical young man who never has been and likely never will be in any situation that warrants saving the world. He's just a goatherd in an isolated prairie community almost completely dislocated from the rest of the world. The magic, admittedly, takes a while before it shows up, but I hope you find the story enjoyable nonetheless.
A poem about forbidden lovers running off together, consequences be damned. The fantasy motifs (an elvish woman, a mixed-blood child with possible magical abilities) hopefully give the poem a bit more magic than it would have had I set it in the mundane, 'real' world.