And here we are, almost a month into 2015, and I actually have a new release to get excited about (what’s that, Amy? Something new? From you? Are you feeling all right?). I have a bittersweet little contemporary story in Dreamspinners’ upcoming anthology Random Acts of Kindness. I loved the idea of the anthology and was determined to write for it. Neil and Monty’s story is about family, impending bereavement and finding the courage to live a little even after you’ve lost your way. The anthology looks like a lovely little collection and you can read more about it here (or click the picture).
One of my vague non-quite-resolutions this year was to make the effort to get outside more at weekends, to walk or play tourist. In accordance with that, I took myself up to the Temple of the Winds on Sunday. The forecast had suggested it would be bright and very cold, which suited me very well as the trail is a muddy one and I thought a good hard frost would help. I also quite fancied seeing the heather and gorse laced with frost.
It turned out to be mild and cloudy, but it was still a lovely walk. I followed the Serpent’s Trail long distance path, which is one of the sillier ones in the south-east, as it manages to trace a snaky 64 mile route between Haslemere and Petersfield, two towns which are about twelve miles apart. The first eight miles or so takes you up and over Blackdown, the great down that towers over the little market town of Haslemere.
And finally, have another dragon drabble. Tarn and his kin are now in council following the first disastrous encounter of the Dragon Wars…
“The Shadow sends a message,” Tarnamell told his gathered council. “It makes this suggestion: that both sides fight only in the guise of men. Your thoughts, kin and beloved of my kin.”
Markell spoke first, graver than usual. “At least we cannot bring down mountains when we walk as men.”
“Nor can we win a swift victory,” Arden countered hotly. “It commits us, and our hoards, to a slow war. We’ll lose too many.”
A noise by the door made them all swing round. Sharnyn was clinging to the doorframe, human face blanched and eyes shadowed. “But never so many at a single blow,” he rasped. “Never so many simply as a passing strike, by sheer accident. If we are all men, each one of us has a chance to fight back. Death should not come burning from the sky to bring the mountains down, on—”
“Nice job sedating him, great physician,” Isara muttered, but Hal was already moving forward to catch Sharnyn as he slid down the doorframe.
“A thousand cuts can kill a man, just more slowly than a single blow,” Arden said, but it was clear from his voice that he knew he would not persuade them.