Living in Fantasyland

Living in Fantasyland

Like you, I wake up in the morning and prepare for the busy day ahead. Coffee, shower, coffee, iron a shirt and pick out clothes, and then coffee. Most mornings things go smooth, other days, not so much.

On my way to work, I listen to a talk station that discusses national and world events in a humorous, entertaining way. Sometimes my son listens to it, too, as I take him to school.

Then off to work to engage with coworkers, bosses, and clients. I like my job but like most of you, “quitting time” is one of the highlights of my day. I am thankful for everything in life, save for Monday mornings.

After I pick up my son from school, I head home and enjoy dinner with my family. We talk about our day and make plans for the weekend. On most days, once family time is over it’s “my time”. And my time involves heading off to fantasyland for a stroll through a place filled with people I know, some I am still getting to know, and a few who are yet to reveal themselves to me. These people have interesting backstories and travel to strange places doing things you and I will likely never do. Great fun!

Writing was something I only dreamed and talked about until last year when I decided to STOP TALKING and start doing. It has been a great experience and something I recommend to anyone who has considered being a writer.

I don’t spend time worrying about whether I’m going to be “good enough” or not. I spend the time being creative, learning new skills, and thinking about life in the world I’m creating. My books will be completed and printed, that’s what matters most to me. I have a story to share and will continue telling it until it’s finished.

But let’s be real…

I must admit, I go to Barnes & Noble and dream about being a successful writer. There is nothing wrong with being a writer and hoping people will actually want to read your material. The world has no shortage of books that only collect dust.

And now!

One important lesson I’ve learned throughout the process is that maintaining a sense of humor is important.

In my last post, I shared an excerpt from the first chapter in my book. I’d like feedback from readers related to my writing. How is the flow? Do you have an idea what is happening in these scenes? Did I lose you!?!

It would be great to hear from you in the comment section or via email at [email protected].

The second part of the excerpt is here:

“Standing upstream in a small clearing and looking back at her was a large, majestic buck. Beautiful, twinkling lights hovered around him, and his eyes sparkled with burning energy. His brown coat was highlighted by a white patch of fur on his chest, covered only by momentary wisps of steam jetting from his nose.

Jonathan, Post-Apocalyptic World Fighter
Eve’s first glimpse at the buck by Dima Zasimovich

Eve gazed at him and felt a sudden peace as if the buck knew who she was. She called out to him, but her sore throat made it difficult to speak above a whisper. 

“Hey…hey…”, she said as her voice broke between words. The buck continued looking at her, still and soft in his stare. 

“Does he want me to follow him?”

She stepped down from the edge of the stream and onto a small, flat area where she could move toward him. Peacefulness filled her at this moment, and she forgot she was lost and injured. Her eyes stayed fixed on the buck as she made her way along the uneven ground.

When Eve was within a few feet of the buck, she heard a loud, jarring noise to her right, like a clasp of metallic thunder had sounded. Her head lurched in that direction, causing her to lose her footing. Her weak legs bent, and she stumbled, causing her to place one foot in the stream to maintain her balance.

As Eve looked into the dark forest beyond her, a twisting light appeared behind the distant trees. The wind began to howl across her shoulders as leaves spun around her. She glanced back in the direction of the buck, but he was gone. 

The swirling wind intensified, blowing tree branches back and forth in violent fashion. She felt her body pulled toward the light, causing her to stumble and fall in the stream. Eve tried to stand but lost her balance and slipped on the bank of the stream. Her arms flailed as she grew desperate to grasp something to hold, her ears overcome with harsh, churning sounds that made her body to shake. 

“What’s happening to me?”, she cried as she laid prone against the bank of the stream, her hands gripping the tall, stringy grass.

After several seconds the noise changed from a roaring machine to a gentle hum, interrupted only by the sound of intermittent surges of electricity. The intensity of the wind dried her hair and clothes, and she felt an uneasiness about moving closer. She eased herself up and put her hand on a tree to brace herself. She peered further into the distance. 

Through the shifting trees, she saw spinning red and white lights, pulsing every few seconds in an uneven rhythm. Eve covered her ears with her hands and turned her head away, shielding her face and head from the noise. 

Eve felt the wind subside and the noise come to an abrupt end, the empty silence interrupted by the flutter of leaves as they fell to the ground. The incredible light and sound disappeared as fast as it arrived. She uncovered her face and saw nothing.

Her ears were ringing, and the light and sound in the forest were gone. Fear crept into her soul. 

“If this is a dream, please wake up! Wake up! Get me out of here!” Eve said out loud.”

What are your thoughts about the illustrations? Do they enhance the story or take away from your imagination?

In addition to the continuation of the excerpt, I mentioned I would introduce you to another character. I am excited to share this with you!

This is Jonathan, the second person Eve meets on her journey through the area known as the Wastelands. Keep in mind, this is not a western, but a post-apocalyptic world where supernatural forces roam the Earth. Jonathan’s plays a pivotal role in Eve’s decision to believe she can make a difference in the world.

First color concept illustration of Jonathan by Sam Manopo

The colorful pants you see are prosthetic legs. He dresses as a bounty hunter because he is avenging a death, and that shotgun is rare in this world – and quite illegal to own.

In conclusion…

Everyone who signs up for my newsletter will receive early access to illustrations, updates, and as a special treat, chapter storyboards that are drawn as comics (super cool!)

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post. So much to share with you in The Seasons of Darkness world!

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