Once Upon a Time…

QRM Author badge_300In case anyone has missed it, October has been Queer Romance Month (click on the image above to go straight there). This has been a wonderful celebration of queer romance, with posts from all over the genre and beyond, from writers and reviewers. Every single post has been fascinating. Many have moved me, others have made me think hard about who I am, both as a writer and as someone one doesn’t quite fit into other people’s boxes, and some have made my fingers itch to get writing.

I’m honoured to have been invited to play. I struggled to pick just one thing to write about, so cheated and retold a fairy tale which covered most of what I wanted to say about storytellers and their audiences, about laughter and creativity and criticism, and about how damn happy this genre makes me. The Prince Who Never Laughed went up this afternoon. I hope you enjoy it.

This week is half term, which would normally mean I’d be taking to the hills to walk some new ideas out of my head. Alas, I have pulled a muscle in my leg (twice, because I was too impatient to slow down the first time) and can just about make it down the road to the Co-Op and back before it gives out. I shall be writing and cleaning instead, and will hopefully get my teeth into Recovery before the week is done.

And, like last week, have a little double-drabble from the first Dragon War. Here Tarnamell starts calling his brothers to war…

20 years before the Fall of Eyr

The dragon went to Arden first, arching over the mountains to reach his brother’s burgh where it stood over the Iron Pass. The first rivulets of the River Anna fell across the scree below in glistening threads and the curlews soared over the towers.

Arden’s hoard were drilling, pikes raised and faces fierce with determination. Arden led them in their warlike dance, his human face intent.

The dragon transformed into flame above them and became human in their midst.

The nearest pikeman stumbled.

Arden kicked his feet out from under him, with a peal of laughter, but reached down to offer a hand up. “Watch your guard, Lilland.”

“Watch yours, lord,” the pikeman retorted and tried to hook his foot around Arden’s ankle. Arden dodged away, still laughing, and swung to meet another opportunistic swing.

“Enough,” Tarnamell said gravely. “The time for games is over.”

Arden held up his hand and the pikemen all dropped back. As the space opened around them, Arden asked, “What happened?”

“The Shadow rose from the mines,” Tarnamell told him.

“We should have put it down years ago.”

“Perhaps,” Tarnamell admitted. Arden was always swift to strike.

“And now?”

“War,” Tarnamell said. “Ready your hoard.”

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