I’ve bundled up three of the stories I’ve written which were set in Aphanasia into a collection I have cleverly titled Aphanasian Stories, and it’s now available for you 🙂 Including in this collection of re-released stories are Lost and Found, which was originally given away here on this blog, A Love Story, which was originally published by Sam’s Dot Publishing as Shades of Green and Sister Margaret which was originally published by Wild Child Publishing.
A Love Story: Z’thandra, a swamp elf living with the Reptar, discovers a human near the village. When she falls in love with him, she faces the most difficult choice of her life, a decision that will affect the Reptar for generations.
Lost and Found: Xavier, the escaped subject of a madman’s experiments, and Colby, a young lady on a mission to save her brother, must combine their efforts to elude capture and recover the magical artifact that will save Colby’s brother before it’s too late.
Sister Margaret: A vampire hunter and a half-incubus swordsman are hired by a priestess to kill the undead pimp that is extorting, torturing and murdering vulnerable girls.
The physical copies of these books are fan-freaking-tastic, no word of a lie. The original art is the illustration I commissioned from Darek Zabrocki long ago for Lost and Found and Jo (my husband) had turned it into the sort of wrap around cover that dreams are made of (mine anyway). However, if you like to read electronic books I’ve got good news for you. The Kindle version of Aphanasian Stories is available for free for May 15th and 16th.
When you combine Lost and Found, Shades of Green (with a new title) and Sister Margaret into one self-published collection you get Aphanasian Stories. Clever title, no? LoL This book is available now but I don’t have time to promote it yet so what I’m going to do is pretend that it’s not available. Yet. Come the middle of May when the Niteblade fundraiser, Blogging from A to Z, Camp NaNo and April Poem a Day are done, and I’ve recovered a little bit, I’m going to officially release this book.
My plan is to do some intensive promotion over the first five days (May 15-19th) and I’d love for you to be a part of that. If you have a blog that accepts guest posts, does interviews or book reviews please get a hold of me (email@example.com). I would really like to send you a copy for review or make an appearance and share my book with your readers. I promise not to be spammy 🙂
These pictures are going to be book covers when they grow up 🙂 Click them to see the full image, WordPress crops the thumbnails.
I’ve decided to put a few of my previously published works up on Kindle. Sister Margaret and Shades of Green seemed like the ideal stories to start with, so I commissioned some cover art from Marge Simon.
I can’t share actual cover design yet because Jo is usually my cover design guy and right now he’s up to his eyeballs in getting the June issue of Niteblade ready, so I’m practicing being patient. I will ask him to textify these for me in the not too distant future, though. I guess that means I better get back to trying to learn how to format books for Kindle 😉
This post is about video games. I was originally going to write about the video games I play these days, but then I had a better idea. Let me tell you about a fantastic video game that was never made.
Abbadon’s Curse is a game I wanted to create over ten years ago. I looked over the main game description document that I gave to the developers and it looks like it was created in early 2002 and I’d been working on stuff for the game long before I began that file.
Abbadon’s Curse was going to be fantastic. It was an MMORPG with all of the usual MMORPG-type things in it, but there were a lot of other cool things that I hadn’t seen done in games up until that point. Night and day, for example, with certain spells and abilities only being able to be used in one or the other. Capes which could be designed (like tabards are now in WoW) to have a unique look for each guild (or character). It was also going to be very story-centric, very lore-based.
The game was set in the world of Aphanasia. A place where, upon the death of her son in battle, she blessed that land so that any who died in battle would not remain dead but rise up once more to fight again. Unfortunately, despite the fact her intentions may have been good, in reality her blessing turned out to be more like a curse. Dun dun dun.
Moonberrys were also very important in that world, as was the magical tree they came from. They were especially important to a race of lizard-men called the Urbagdú or the Reptar who used them in every part of their society. The wise men used the berries for medicines, the mages for magic and the warriors used shed boughs from the trees for weapons. Moonberries were even the closest thing the society had to a currency.
In developing the game and it’s storyline we focused a lot on the reptar because they were going to be our first set of adversaries (you know, after everyone was done leveling off rats, and moving on to wolves, and then…) and we needed to give them depth and story. We had several other races in mind we were going to use as spice in our first release and make more important in the future. The Reptar were found mostly in and around the swamp, but the mountains were home to a race of shadow elves, and pirates tended to prowl the coastlines. And of course, what kind of RPGMMO would be complete without vampires? We had them too… In fact, one of our important, named NPCs was a vampiric pirate 😉
In addition to our races and plots and maps and game design documents, we also had a series of gods for the denizens of Aphanasia to worship (the icons for each are along the bottom there). Abbadon, Calamyr, Rakkir (named after a character I used to RP with), Xaphan and the Dragon Gods.
Alas the game fell apart. I totally blame myself. I was the lead on the game, the story was mine, the bulk of the world development was mine, and it was my work that filled the game design documents, but I can’t program. Not even a little. I wasn’t able to provide strong leadership to the programming team and I think it was largely because of my ignorance in programming. I couldn’t set reasonable timelines or expectations and I didn’t know how to crack the whip.
I’m still very sad this game never got to become a reality, but I was determined not to allow the insane amounts of work I’d put into the world development for it to go to waste. That’s why, if you’ve read any of my Aphanasian stories, a lot of this stuff will sound familiar to you.
The moonberry tree got a bit of a makeover, and I set my stories in a time after Abbadon’s curse has ceased to exist (so far anyway LoL). I tweaked my races and my world to suit the world of fiction better than that of video games, but the skeleton of that world definitely comes from what I developed for a video game.
All the above stories are set in Aphanasia, and most of them can be read for free, if you’re interested. It looks like the e-zine that published The Legend of the First Reptar is no longer in existence, but the other stories are all still available (except Shadows which I just finished LOL)
So, yeah. While I’m terribly sad that Abbadon’s Curse will never be a game you can download and play (barring a minor miracle anyway LoL) I’m pretty pleased with myself that I managed to continue to use the world I’d created for it, making it even more lush, detailed and populated than I had for the game.
This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter V for Video Game. Tomorrow my husband Jo will be doing a guest blog. He won’t even tell me what it’s going to be about except that it has something to do with chickens. I hope you’ll stop by, it ought to be entertaining 🙂
S was going to be all about the stories I’ve written that were set in Aphanasia and started with the letter S (Shades of Green, Sister Margaret and Shadows) but I’m tired. This month of blogging thing is a lot of work, and combining it with the other two challenges I did was a mistake. So, I’m going to be lazy today. Today S is all about Shades of Green.
Shades of Green was a breakthrough for me. It was the first time anything I’d written was published in a physical form where I was the sole author. My work had been included in a few anthologys or collections, but it’s not quite the same as being the only name on the cover. The only person with words on the pages. It’s not a novel though, so while it checked a lot of boxes on my Bucket List, that one is still empty.
The process of publishing this book was an eye-opening one and while the sales weren’t especially exciting, the education was very, very worthwhile 🙂
My back cover text and the endorsement Marge Simon gave the novella are below. If you’re intrigued at all you can click the cover image above and it will take you to a page where you can read the first chapter for free.
Z’thandra, the last swamp elf in Aphanasia, lives with the Reptar, a fierce race of lizard-people, most of whom resent her presence and want her gone from their village. When she discovers a human in the swamp and falls in love with him she must face the most difficult decision of her life. Will she pursue a life of happiness with the man she loves and in doing so condemn the Reptar to extinction, or will she chose to sacrifice her future to offer them hope? In the end the choice she makes will affect the Reptar for generations.
“Straight fantasy has to be really good to hold my interest. “Shades of Green” is absolutely excellent! Among the best fantasies I’ve read, a tale that unfolded smoothly and drew me in from the start. You’ll find yourself sincerely concerned for young Z’thandra and her plight. Parrish is one talented writer!”
-Marge Simon, Stoker winner, VECTORS: A Week in the Death of a Planet, 2008.
This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter S. If you come by on Monday I’ll be talking about something that begins with the letter T… I have no idea what that will be, but it’ll be T-rific! :-p
Okay, I admit it, the link between the topic of this post and this picture is pretty weak, but it’s the best I could do without actually taking a photo specific for this, and because of procrastinating I just didn’t have time for that. Whee! So, this blog post is going to be about Goodreads which is about books and that’s a picture of a replica of an 1885 Canadian schoolroom. School / Books. It’s the best I could do.
Well, I could have put a Goodreads widget there, but I couldn’t get the formatting to look right. I tried. Honest.
So, about Goodreads. I really like it. I think the main reason for my affection for this particular website is that it makes reading cool. You get to share what you’re reading, what you’ve read, and also your thoughts on each book. You get to use cool little widgets on your website to show off your library or challenge yourself to read a certain number of books every year.
When I first signed up for Goodreads I actually tried to add all the books that I owned to it. I don’t think I made it through more than one bookshelf (we have ten… ish. I can’t remember off-hand and I’m too lazy to get up and count) before I came to my senses. Now I just add books as I’m reading them. I love that Goodreads will share them on my Twitter feed for me, and I usually remember to update my status for #Fridayreads (though I never remember to tag it LOL).
What’s more, Goodreads hosts giveaways. I ran two giveaways of Shades of Green there when we released it, and I’ve also entered to win a great many books. So far I’ve only won four, and unfortunately I didn’t like three of them LOL But still, it’s better to find that out without having to spend any money, right? And happily the people who won Shades of Green (and reviewed it) seemed to like it, so yay!
If you’re not using Goodreads you ought to take a peek and consider it, and if you are, I hope we’re friends there. I don’t usually post on forums, join groups or send out messages, but I do often decide what books I’m going to read based on what my friends are reading and what they’ve enjoyed.
This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter G. I’m taking tomorrow off, but if you come by on Monday I’ll be talking about Hobbies.
I’ve been sick, and today is the first day I’ve felt well enough to actually work in far too long, so I’m beginning to chip away at the things I’d fallen behind on. One of those things is sharing reviews of my work. I got a new one for Shades of Green a while ago. The reviewer won a copy on GoodReads and she said, in part:
I liked this story, it was quick and to the point, and didn’t really need to be any longer. And it was nice to be surprised by the ending.
She gave it 3.5 stars out of 5, and her full review is right here at her website Spoilers and Nuts.
You know, I’m still not happy to be unemployed, but I am beginning to feel like my life is more under control than it has been. For the longest time I’ve been doing too much and trying desperately to try and figure out how to balance things and where to cut back. Now I’m getting things done and the other day I almost managed to do everything on my to-do list. I realise how pathetic that sounds, but it’s absolutely true. And it’s progress. Could be that I’ll go back to work sooner or later, but right now I’m truly enjoying feeling like I’m climbing out of the hole I’d plunged myself into.
We’ll have to wait and see if NaNoWriMo plunges me right back into the pit. It could happen. I have a basic premise for the story and one character and that’s it. Not exactly a strong platform to go into NaNo on, but it’s what I have so I’m going to work it. My plan is to embrace this as a chance to feel out the story and find out how to tell it. I don’t expect anything good but I’m not going to resort to any of the word-padding ideas so popular in November. We’ll see how it goes.
In other news, my poem After The Storm is up at Tales of the Zombie War. They have a comment option so you can tell me how much you hate it (Kidding, please don’t. I want you to like it. Like it, I say! :-p).
Finally, World of Warcraft has recently gone through a very disruptive patch. It’s been kinda crazy and overwhelming, in no small part because I have far too many characters with too many specs that I need to relearn how to play. Still, I’m muddling through. Right before the patch, however, I allowed my WoW nerdiness and my fiction writing to collide and snuck off to take a screenshot to share.
Please note, this screenshot is rather spoilerific if you’ve not read Shades of Green. Also, if you’ve not read Shades of Green you won’t likely find it very amusing, so click with caution.
An important part of writing is being alive, and one way to extend my life (and increase the quality of it) is regular exercise. I am not a sporty person, I don’t like taking walks for the sake of the walk, or well, most exercise-y things. Still, I know from past expirience that if I establish a routine that includes working out I will do it, even when I don’t feel like it, and eventually my body will come to crave the exercise. I still won’t like it, but it will feel good as well as bad, so I’ll do it.
That makes me sound a little crazy doesn’t it? It’s true, but more importantly it’s a long way to go to get here: I need an accountability partner to help me set that initial routine.
I had one a while back and things were going great. We’d check in with each other every day and complain about how much our workout hurt (in this case it was The 30-Day Shred) or celebrate that it was getting easier. It was very motivating to me and on several days when I normally would have not exercised (and justified it to myself somehow) I forced myself to suck it up and just do it, because I knew my partner would be working out even though she didn’t want to.
Sadly my partner had an (unrelated) accident and a couple new developments that meant she has to take some time off working out like we were. Without her there to help motivate me, my working out also collapsed.
Jo is going to be my new accountability partner, but I thought I’d also put this out to the universe in case anyone else is interested in getting in on the ‘action’ 🙂 I’ll be beginning to workout again on October 1st which gives you a little bit to talk yourself into doing this with me and dropping me a line (on either blog or email 🙂 ). The more the merrier!
Also, there are only two more days left to enter the Goodreads contest to win a copy of Shades of Green:
I’m sick. I don’t do sick well, I turn into a whiny, sniffly, self-pitying mess. Good times! So I spent most of yesterday doing those things, which is why I didn’t get a blog entry done. Today I’m feeling slightly better, so I’m whining less, but still feel like I’m in a cold medication-induced brain fog. So, my blog entry is going to be a mindless and shameless self-interested plug. Forgive me?
I’m giving away a copy of Shades of Green at Goodreads. You should enter to win 🙂
So, I consulted the random number generator and it chose a winner from the subscribers of my mailing list. It did, and I’m pleased to announce the Patricia W. will receive a free copy of Shades of Green just as soon as she emails me and sends me her mailing address. I have also dropped her an email to let her know.
Do you want to win a copy too? Like I said I’ll be running a contest closer to the release of Lost and Found to give away a copy of Shades of Green, but instead of having to like, think of something interesting to blog about, I’ve also decided to do another giveaway on GoodReads: