Monday, December 29, 2014

Journal Entry 25

It's Monday!

And almost a new year...

Happy almost New Year!

Let's celebrate with some tiny people.  What's that you say?  Why tiny people?  Well, I guess you'll have to read this week's journal entry and find out.  ;)

Lorenz has found himself in a rather unique situation.  It's filled with magic and wonder as Lorenz expands his world and his world views. 

This is hopefully a bit more of a 'feel good' sort of story arc for Lorenz...hopefully.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Gemini Prince : Chapter 1 & Chapter 2 Part 1

Chapter 1

The Escape

The stone of the window sill is rough against my palms.  My shoulders are aching and as I glance down my head swims.  The fall seems farther than it did when I was standing at the window.  I have half a mind to start climbing back up, but my grip is slipping.  I grit my teeth, eyes slamming shut as fear washes over me.  I am going to tumble noisily and be discovered.  My entire escape plan is about to crumble to dust because in my excitement I overestimated my own abilities.

I almost shriek as my arms finally give out.  My limbs flail, trying to grasp anything but finding only air.  I careen towards the ground below and with a slight ‘oof!’ land in the fluffy hay bales as I had planned.  The wind is momentarily knocked out of me, but as I stare up at the high window that has been my prison, I realize that I am no longer inside.

Footsteps shuffling in my direction along with the clang of armor make me tuck in.  I burrow into the hay, trying to make myself small and quiet.  I watch a guard stride past me while glancing around curiously.  He is dressed in warm leathers with a deep blue crest upon one shoulder and shined metal boots.   I suppose he heard my spill, but since nothing seems amiss he continues on his way, one hand resting on the hilt of a gleaming sword.  I shall stay here for a few more moments before making for the stables.  I have spent too long devising this escape to be thwarted by a lone night watchman.

The night is quiet save for a few howls in the distance.  I hear no people chattering or owls hooting; it’s almost ominous.  Through the gaps in fragrant stalky bits covering my head I glance to the sky.  The twin moons are shining brightly, almost touching one another.  It is a night for the Gemini.  If there was ever a good time to begin my pilgrimage, it is now.  Closing my eyes I say a prayer within my mind, “Thirteen Gods and Goddesses bless and keep me.  This night I set out upon the pilgrimage to the Great Well Spring.  I begin my journey to pray at the Stone of the Gemini.  Twin Souls keep your eyes upon me as I traverse this land in search of my true self.”

My eyes remain closed as I savor a feeling of peace that floods my being.  Then, as if something inside of me sent a jolt, I bolt from my hiding place and dash towards the royal stables.  My heart is thundering in my ears and no matter how much the wind stings at my cheeks; I find it difficult to draw a breath.  Having never left the confines of the castle without an armed escort, this venture leaves me both frightened and deeply exhilarated. 

The fear of being caught and dragged back to my gilded cage has me running as if devils are on my heels.  I manage to cross the grounds and throw open the stable door.  All is quiet inside, save for the mewling of a few Naba, so I shut the door behind me and look over the beasts.  The Naba are swift and cunning pack animals that stand upon two legs and have enormous ears that resemble a rabbit’s.  They are normally only kept by wealthy merchants, clergy and nobility.  Though traversing upon a Naba may draw attention, using a slower animal or walking on foot could triple the time necessary to make the journey.

I opt for one of the shabbier looking beasts towards the back of the stable.  With it I can probably pass for a mediocre merchant or clergyman.  My intent is to stay off the main roads and try to look as inconspicuous as possible.  Thankfully the beast has been ridden frequently.  He is friendly and allows me to swiftly place a humble blanket and saddle upon his humped back.  I lead him out the exit which opens into the pear orchard and hope the night conceals me as I move about the trees.  It is not likely that someone would be looking for a mount thief to enter the royal stables, but who knows.

Fallen branches and leaves crunch beneath my booted feet.  Every snap threatens to make my heart leap from my chest.  Both my arms are shivering as I try to hold onto the beast’s reins as we walk.  This is a terrifying jaunt.  I can see the outer wall right in front of me, but my mind keeps concocting scenarios where someone grabs me and stops me before reaching it.  It is as if that wall represents my entire life.  Years have been spent staring at this wall, at my freedom, so close and yet so far away.

I have wanted to do this for years, with or without my family’s approval.  However, fear, uncertainty, even their words have kept me from trying.  I remember when I was a boy of twelve, telling my mother and father that I thought myself a Gemini Spirit.  Proudly I announced my wish to embark upon the Pilgrimage, only to have my feelings denounced a ‘phase.’  As I got older and continued to express how I felt inside, my parents became angry and venomous.  “The people do not need a Gemini King!  They need a strong, fully-male king with a good head on his shoulders.  Put aside these childish notions and start preparing to choose a queen!”

Words can wound more than a sword, axe, or crossbow.  I carried that trauma with me as I married and had children.  I care about my wife very much, and I love my children more than my own life.  However, ours was an arranged marriage and therefore we are not ‘in love.’  Neither of us had a choice about our future.  We have accepted this fact of our lives and moved on; mostly content to be friends and come together for the production of our offspring.  We enjoy one another’s company, but only on a platonic level.

I tried to put my inner awareness aside and be the man that my wife and children seemed to need.  However, I was never happy and the uncomfortableness of my body, mind and spirit got worse.  I trusted and cared for my wife, so with our third child on the way, shared my true self with her.  I told her about my feelings and how my parents had treated my desire to commune with the Gemini Spirits.  It was her reaction that drove me to run away.

Instead of showing me support or even trying to understand my situation, my beautiful wife and mother of my children rejected my feelings, rejected my view of myself and ultimately, rejected me.  She said there was no place in her life or my children’s life for a Gemini Spirit.  She said there was no place in this kingdom for a Gemini King. 

I have not spoken to her since and have refused all contact this past week.  It is tearing at me, because in her womb rests my baby and I want desperately to connect to that child, but I can no longer connect with her.  I cannot trust her.  I feel utterly betrayed and alone.  

Hoarding bits of bread from my meals, I began building rations tucked into a pillow case.  On a riding trip I stole a few water skins and kept them in my room.  I made several trips to the library within the castle and constructed copies of maps by hand as I painstakingly planned my pilgrimage.  What is meant to be a celebrated affair has turned into a solitary trip with me having to literally run away from my home, my duties and my family.  No one knows I am leaving.  No one knows where I am going.  And if all goes well, no one will see me again until after I commune with the Gemini Spirits and discover for myself whether my desires are true or some delusion.

I take a deep breath and slow my steps as I am nearly close enough to the wall to touch it.  Swallowing hard, I turn my eyes towards the skies, and look for some sort of sign to continue.  My entire life I have been told that what I feel inside is wrong.  Sometimes the feelings blend together with what others say and uncertainty fills me.  Are they the ones that are mistaken or is it me? 

Unshed tears sting my eyes as I stare at those two moons.  They are how I feel.  I feel split down the middle with half of my body as a man and the other as a woman.  I want the outside of me to represent the inside.  I want to feel as if I am no longer a stranger to myself.  The tears swell, collecting at my lashes and the corners of the eyes.  I want to say something, to beg the Gods and Goddesses to save me but a voice cuts through the silence before I have a chance.

“You there!  Who are you!?  Stop right there!”

Without a thought I lunge forward, one hand landing on that short stone wall.  It is but waist high and more for decoration than anything.  I use my other hand to tug the reins of the Naba.  He moves without much coaxing and jumps the wall.  I am standing on the stone as he vaults forward and I swing a leg up and over, landing comfortably in the saddle.  I have never considered myself athletic, but the act felt as natural as breathing. 

As the Naba lands on the other side of the wall I turn my head to look at the guard that is trying to give chase.  My hair comes loose from under the hat where it was piled and hidden.  Bright blood red and silver strands stream out behind me.  It is the one thing I have never allowed my family to dictate; the length of my hair.  I have always kept it impossibly long.  The streamers of my hair cause the guard to slide to a stop.  His green eyes lock on mine and his youthful freckled face looks awestruck.  Obviously he did not expect to find the High Prince stealing a Naba in the dead of night.

As the creature’s feet pound the ground beneath us I lift a single finger to my lips.  “Ssshhh…”  I manage, before winking in the guard’s direction.  The Naba’s speed kicks in and I’m jerked, barely able to grasp my hat as I tuck forward.  I cling to the beast while he leaves a trail of dust behind us.

Chapter 2

Much Ado About Freedom

The castle is growing smaller and smaller at my back.  The wind swirls my long hair about my face.  I keep glancing behind me, but there is no one following.  I’m not sure how long the Naba has been running, but soon I start to laugh.  My chest swells with a feeling that I have never known.  Overhead an owl flies, darting from one tree top to another and giving a hoot.  My laughter grows louder and while gripping the Naba with my thighs I throw my arms out to either side.  There comes an understanding of the feeling in my chest.  It is the wondrous feeling of being free.

Awareness washes over me lifting a great weight from my body.  Until this moment I had no perception that something was suppressing me to the point I barely dragged from day to day.  I feel light, almost weightless; as if I could lift up into the air with that owl and fly through the skies without a care in the world.  There is no voice of my father telling me all the things I must do.  My mother is not screaming at me to be the perfect prince.  There are no disapproving stares, no scoffs, no glares or snorts.  There is only me, the sky, and the breeze through my hair. 

Sighing heavily I lean forward and rest my head against the Naba’s back.  The beast is warm and the air above is cool.  The rhythmic beating of its feet against the ground is soothing and I am free.  A smile plays against my lips and I rub my cheek against the course fur.  I cannot remember ever feeling so comfortable.  I am completely unaware that I slip off to sleep until I roll off the beast and collide with the ground, startling myself awake.

Gasping, my head pops up and I look around in astonishment.  Rubbing at my eyes, I try to understand where I am and what happened.  There are trees all around and nothing seems familiar.  A lightning shock of fear shoots through me and I feel so disoriented that I want to shout for my guards.  It takes me a moment to remember that there are no guards and I am completely alone.  That makes me even more afraid.

Swallowing hard I look up to see that the Naba is ducking his head and drinking from a stream.  The creature must have run until it got tired and then stopped for a drink.  The first sun is peeking out over the horizon.  I slept for hours while the Naba kept running due to lack of direction from me. 

I draw in a breath and try to calm myself.  I should probably get a drink and have a bit of food.  Rising to my feet, I tie the Naba to a nearby tree.  He can still reach the water and after a moment he rolls to his side, settling down and chewing on some branches.  The beast seems at ease, so we are most likely in a safe area. 

I just need to keep telling myself that.

The day is warm, so I decide not to start a fire.  I do not wish to alert anyone of my presence.  However, as I stare at the stream I realize how uncomfortable I am.  I have never gone a day without a nice long bath.  A quick glance around produces no sights save for miles of trees.  Surely I can strip off and quickly wash myself amongst the water without incident.  It seems indecent to be nude outside, but also a bit exciting.  I have never done anything like this before.

Trying to be smart, I tuck all my belongings near the Naba.  He is close to the water and will be close to me.  I brought a sword and it is going into the water with me.  One can never be too careful.  Fluffing out my clothing, I lay them on a rock directly in front of me where I can reach them quickly but they will not get wet.  Clutching my sword with one hand and holding the other across my front, I glance around nervously.  I still neither hear nor see anything threatening, so quickly I step into the water and sink down to my waist.

The water is slightly cool, but I felt sticky and warm from sleeping against the Naba, so the cool water is not unwelcome.  Groaning I brush the water against my body and duck my head to get my hair wet.  Bathing outside is not so bad after all.  I smile at my own reflection in the water.  The sun is creeping higher at my back and it warms my wet flesh.

I am almost finished with my bath when the Naba raises his head and lets out a spitting snort.  His abrupt animation causes me to snag my sword up out of the water.  Spinning in a circle I notice something dark moving in the foliage nearby.  Standing up I hold the sword out in front of me.  Squinting, I try to decide what is swaying several paces away.  Then, much to my horror, the figure stretches up and turns.  It’s a person!

“Who goes there!?”  I cry out angrily.  A sword hilt glitters and then a man’s back in dark clothing becomes visible.  “Disgusting pervert!  How dare you sit and watch me bathe!”  I call out while taking a step forward as if to pursue the stranger who had been watching me, only to stop.  Looking down my entire body flushes as I realize I am still naked.  Darting out of the water I hide behind the Naba while brandishing my sword.  “If I set eyes upon you again I shall run you through!”

A sad message on Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to all! I hope you are having a Happy Holiday!

Regretfully this holiday is bittersweet at this moment. I received a message late last night that my cover artist's mother is in the hospital. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and remember and be grateful for what you have this holiday season.

Onto how this affects my readers and fans...currently the cover of 'The Gemini Prince' is still not complete. I am not certain if it will go out on Monday as planned. I am terribly sorry, but the well fare of my artist and her family goes above a release date to me. I am a self-published author and not some big company after all.

That being said, I also do not feel right disappointing people that have been waiting for a title that's been pushed back twice already. Thus, I have decided to post part of the first chapter online for free today. I know it isn't much, but at least it can give an introduction into this title that I have poured my heart and soul.

I hope in the future you will continue to support me in my endeavors to produce titles that highlight not just gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, pansexual and asexual heroes, but also transgender, bi-gender, pangender, gender fluid and everyone in between!

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Short Story For Christmas

Happy Holidays!

Today is Monday and while typically this would lead to a journal entry, I am posting a short story instead!

If you have been keeping up on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., I have been working on a Christmas short story depicting a 'what if' scenario involving two of the characters from my world.

In Lorenz's journal we know that he once met a dashing vampire in a top-hat that tried to woo him and failed rather miserably.  If you have read Phoenix Heart, you might also be aware that he meets this vampire again later.

For those who follow Lorenz's lover Fate Trail, Cyrus meets a frustratingly sexy Texas Ranger whom he has a short encounter with.  This individual is shrouded in mystery.  He also happens to meet up with this individual again in Phoenix Heart.

Lorenz was not destined to end up with the top-hatted admirer, nor was Cyrus destined to forever romp with his friend-with-benefits, the hazel-eyed mystery man.  So then what if these two third wheels were to stumble upon one another?  It is not an easy thing to be the 'other guy' in a story where two people are destined to be together forever in the grandest of love affairs.  Why can't the 'other guys' have a little bit of fun eh?

Top-Hats and Measuring Sticks is a 'what if' adventure where Le Von Funar and Marcel the Moirae stumble upon one another pining for the men they can't have on Christmas.  This promises to be a very interesting Christmas.

While neither Le Von nor Marcel will ever admit that this interaction ever really happened, what I can tell you is that everything discussed during this encounter is 100% true.  There is a lot of lore, a lot of secrets, and a lot of outlandish claims in this story.  I wanted it to be a fun and sexy little read, but also be something titillating for my readers for another reason.  There are things that may take me years to get to or that I may never get to why not have a way to toss some things out for people to munch on.

There are things like, tidbits about the nature of the world itself, the nature of the Moirae, a big super secret about Le Von that is 200 years in the making, Horach's real name and real origins, the nature of Marcel and Horach's relationship, more info on people's sexualities, why people conduct themselves the way they do, all that and so much more!

I really really hope you guys will enjoy this fun little story.  I say 'little' but it's right at 7900 words.  Right now there is enough material on this blog for me to make into probably 3 Novellas at least.  Please, think about how much time and effort goes into this blog.  I really appreciate everyone's love and support.  Remember that writing is not a hobby, this is my job and putting things up for free is me working for you guys...for free.

The link for the short story is on the right near the Donate button, or you can click the link below.  :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Journal Entry 24

Is it Monday already?

Oh I guess it is. =D

Monday means journal entry!  Journal entry 24 is up for your viewing pleasure.  It's another day for Lorenz to reflect upon his new relationship and how things are going.  A short discussion about the good, the not-so-good, and what might be coming next.

There's been so much angst and drama for the couple, a bit of calm before anymore storms is good, don't you think?


Monday, December 1, 2014

Journal Entry 23

Happy Monday!

It's Monday and that means new Journal Entry.  I'm sorry that it's a little late going up, but I've been knee deep in edits for the newest book and wanted that done before I worked on this entry.

When last we left Lorenz and Cyrus they had finally broken down the barriers around them and confessed how they truly felt.  They spent a night of wild passion together and Lorenz was wondering...what's next?

So here is what was next.  Sometimes it's awkward starting a new relationship, even if you have known a person for a long time.  Cyrus and Lorenz have known each other for two years, but now they are learning how to -be- together.

In this journal entry, Lorenz describes their budding relationship, his emotional state and...quite a lot of what's going on in their sex life.

Enjoy!  ;)