Weekend Writing Warriors ~ A Magical Beast

Hello and Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in snippets of ten sentences or less. I have to apologize for my rather sporadic posting of late. ‘Tis the silly season, and demands on my time are mounting. But of course you all know that and are surely dealing with similar issues. I just feel Not Right when I’m not participating every Sunday!

So on to the snippet. I’m continuing to share from my reimagined fairy tale, a gay romantic fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White. In my last post, Prince Gabriel made the decision not to kill the magnificent white stag that appeared before him.

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Falkner nodded, for once not bristling at a command from Gabriel.  He melted back into the brush and Gabriel returned his attention to the deer, who remained motionless.  Stepping forward, he expected the animal to flee at last, one or two bounds would take it out of sight, but it didn’t move.  This trust confirmed Gabriel’s decision.

Here stood a magical beast, clearly not from the ordinary woods but emerged from the Black Forest on this day as a sign.  But what was the sign? Was this a confirmation of Tristan’s rise to the throne, or a signal that powers in the Black Forest had awakened from their decades long slumber?

Gabriel looked into the beast’s black eyes, searching for answers.  There was wisdom there, but it was not for him.  This was the king’s hunt, and any divine messages sent from the Forest were for Tristan, not his long absent brother.

***

Hope your season is magical. © Mikael Damkier | Dreamstime.com

Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a scheming alchemist and along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ The Right Decision

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.

I’m continuing to share from my WIP, a romantic gay fantasy/reimagined fairy tale, inspired by the tale of Snow White. Prince Gabriel has been pressed to join in the annual hunt by his brother, who recently became king.  Snow has no desire to hunt, but as luck would have it, he and the huntsman Gavin Falkner are the ones to come upon a magnificent white stag deep in the woods.  In last week’s snippet, Gabriel prepared to shoot it with his bow and arrow.

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Easing off on the bow, Gabriel lowered his arms slightly.

“Snow?” Falkner whispered.  Gabriel was not so entirely enthralled by the beast that somewhere in his mind he didn’t note the use of his accursed nickname, but for some reason, this time it didn’t rankle him.

“It shall not be killed,” Gabriel said softly.  As soon as the words were out he knew it was the right decision and he pointed the arrow at the ground.  “This is a magical creature and is a sign of good fortune.”  He glanced at Falkner, expecting anger or mockery, but instead glimpsed a wave of relief flash across the huntsman’s face.

“Spread the word,” Gabriel continued.  “The White Stag shall not be hunted, but left in peace. I’m sure my brother will agree.”

***

Er, I’m not so sure, Gabriel, but we’ll have to wait a couple more snippets to see Tristan’s reaction.

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Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a scheming alchemist and along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Foolish Lad

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less. Everyone is invited to join in, whether you’re a reader, writer, or alien scientist examining Earth’s internet transmissions from space.

I’ve been sharing from my never-ending WIP, a reimagined fairy tale in which Snow White is a put-upon young prince and the huntsman may be a romantic hero, or a dastardly villain.  In this scene, Gabriel (the prince) and Gavin Falkner (the huntsman) have a tracked a noble, snow white (quite the coincidence) stag into a meadow in the forest. Gabriel reluctantly prepares to kill it.  (PS I know having two G-named main characters is stupid, but I haven’t decided how to change that yet. Working on it!)

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Gabriel removed bow and arrow from the quiver at his side as quietly as he could. Once in hand, he inspected the lethal head of the arrow and experienced a sharp vision of red blood staining the white fur.

He blinked away the stupid, unreasonable moment of queasiness, and lifted his gaze along with the shaft of the nocked arrow.  The stag seemed unalarmed, grazing without much heed of the dangers around it.  At such a distance, and presenting such a broad target, Gabriel couldn’t miss.  He did enjoy target practice, and had won many a competition at it, besting even Falkner on occasion.

As he took aim, the stag lifted its mighty head and gazed calmly in their direction, clearly seeing the two men lurking in the bushes. Why won’t the damn thing run? Gabriel stared straight into the deer’s large black eyes and saw intelligence there.  Foolish lad, he heard his stepfather’s voice scolding him, animals don’t have hearts and minds like we do.

***

Alpar Benedek | Dreamstime.com

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Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a scheming alchemist and along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Auspicious

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less. I’ve been off the grid for a while, doing a lot of traveling, and when not traveling, recovering from traveling. My last jaunt was to Los Angeles for the World Fantasy 2019 convention, which was awesome.  I have a new goal: to have Snow finished in time for Salt Lake City next year! I might submit to one of the mainstream publishers like Tor now that things are loosening up for writers of LGBTQ fantasy, or I might just publish it myself, depending on how much frustration and rejection I’m in the mood for when the time comes.

So on to the snippet. In case you’re new to the story, Snow is a reimagined fairy tale based on the tale of Snow White. I’ve jumped ahead a bit from my last post;  Prince Gabriel and the huntsman Falkner have been separated from the main hunting party, and are tracking a deer on their own.  Gabriel would rather not kill anything, but alas, fate has its own ideas.

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Gabriel rested his hand against a tree trunk and peered intently into the distance, trying once again to see what the huntsman did.  A flicker of motion caught his attention and his breath caught as a large stag lifted its head from where it had been nibbling on grass.

This was no ordinary deer.  Its coat was pure white and Gabriel wondered how he had failed to see the magnificent creature immediately. Then the deer stepped out of the pocket of weak light it stood in and the white coat faded to gray, rippling with streaks of silver. The beast lowered its head again, a great mass of antlers scraping the limbs above and releasing a shower of red leaves. Gabriel counted nine…ten points: a larger rack than any currently mounted in the great feast hall.

Time slowed and stretched as they lurked in the shadows without moving or uttering a sound, until Falkner elbowed him lightly in the arm.  This was a hunt, not a zoological tour, and the arrival of a white deer was surely auspicious.  Gabriel imagined the fanfare and excited soothsaying that would accompany this kill.

***

Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a scheming alchemist and along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Dark Places

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less. I’m sharing from my current work in progress, a reimagined fairy tale with the working title of Snow. Yup, you guessed it. It’s inspired by the story of Snow White.

In this scene, Prince Gabriel is in the woods with the head huntsman, Gavin Falkner. They’re tracking a stag, which Gabriel hopes they don’t find. You can read the last snippet here.

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“Are we getting any closer, do you think, or has the stag sensibly fled into the Black Forest by now?” Gabriel asked.

“Not likely, the animals don’t like the forest anymore than we do.  It doesn’t appear to be running. We may catch up to it yet if we move quickly and stay silent.”

“Well, let’s stay close together so the birds don’t…cluster.”

Falkner gave him a quizzical look as if trying to decide what sort of man attracted birds, then moved on. This time he paid more attention to Gabriel’s progress and paused occasionally, letting go of low pine branches just in time so they swung into Gabriel’s face. Gabriel didn’t think this was on purpose. The man was simply intent on his job of tracking and he was an irritant, no more.

But as they continued on in this fashion, memories of the time when he was the object of his brother’s scorn—and therefore Falkner’s as well—arose against his will, and all the feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy and isolation came creeping out of the dark places in his heart where he’d banished them.

***

I’m just grooving on these vintage fairy tale illustration. This is from 1914, from the book East of the Sun, West of the Moon illustrated by Kay Nielsen.

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Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a scheming alchemist and along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Curious

Greetings and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog post where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts in ten sentences or less.

I’m sharing from my work in progress, currently titled Snow.  This is a romantic fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White. Snow White has been around for centuries, long before Disney, and one of the fun things about reimagining a tale so embedded in the culture is picking and choosing the elements that appeal to me, adding my own, and presenting a story that is both familiar and unexpected.  My first exposure to Snow White came from a big old book of European fairly tales from my Czech grandmother.  Then, of course, at the age of seven, I was deeply impacted by the Walt Disney version (re-released on the big screen!)  This little scene within the larger, darker tale of the hunt, was surely inspired by that animated version, but as I wrote, I found that the idea of having Prince Gabriel  connected to the forest creatures played in perfectly with how things develop later, and might just help save his life. You can read last week’s snippet here.

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A chickadee lit on a branch just ahead of him, cocked its head and let out a shrill series of chirps, tweets and whistles.

“Please go away,” Gabriel said, “We’re trying to be stealthy.”

Falkner waited for him, and Gabriel could have sworn the stern huntsman was trying to suppress a smirk.   Gabriel’s cheeks started to burn. It wasn’t his fault forest creatures found him…curious.  But he didn’t have to talk to them, a point frequently made by his brother.

When he reached Falkner, the birds vanished in puff of feathery motion.

“If you could refrain from soliloquizing, it would be helpful, your lordship,” Falkner said with a perfectly straight face. A perfectly perfect face, actually, except for a faint, dashing scar along his prominent left cheekbone.

Rather than admit he’d been talking to a bird, Gabriel ignored the comment.

***

This isn’t the one I had, alas, but the illustration reminds me of it.

 

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Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a scheming alchemist and along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.