Terry “Tales from the Greenhills” Melia and I talk about Writing, Authoring, and Publishing

The amazing and incredible author Terry Melia talked with me this past Saturday. It was a fun chat and we covered lots of ground, hopefully some of it will be useful to others.

Here are two excerpts starting with using your own emotional experiences to add realism write fiction events

 
and one with some advice to writers.

 
You find the full video on Terry’s YouTube channel (and we both hope you do and comment).

Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 18

Continuing with Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 18.

Previous chapters here


Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 18

Dire rolled over onto her knees in silent darkness. She’d been asleep? In her workshop? For so long the candles and lamps burned out?

Something whimpered close by her side as a hand nudged her shoulder.

“Nory? It’s okay. Grandmother’s here.”

A hand stroked her hair. The whimpering turned into joyful crying.

“Help grandmother up, lad. There’s a good boy.”

Gentle hands guided her to her feet and steadied her. Once standing, she was embraced. Her hands searched for and found Nory’s familiar features. “Can you help grandmother outside, lad? Is it day or night outside?”

Nory put his fist into her palm and made the sign she taught him for “day late.”

She felt herself tugged in one direction. “Afternoon? How long did I sleep?”

Nory’s hand made a circling motion. “A full day? Oh, you must have worried so much. I’m sorry, my boy. Have you eaten, Nory? Are you hungry?”

He took her hand and patted his stomach, then ran it over the remainder of the food tucked in his clothes.

“Where did you get so much food, Nory?” She hugged him. “Doesn’t matter. Let’s get outside then. Help grandmother, there’s a good lad.”

Nory’s hand shaped “Show you.”

“Show me? Show me what?”

Nory stepped to Dire’s workbench. He sprinkled powder from her tinderbox into a shallow pot then dribbled a few drops from one of her phials. A moment later the mixture sparked and a flame grew. He brought over several candles and lit them.

Before he finished, Dire gasped.

Julia lay on some hides, unconscious. One of Dire’s heavy woven blankets covered her neck to foot.

“Nory, what have you done?”

Nory shook his head and wrung his hands togehter. He moaned and his eyes went from Julia to Dire and back, then focused on Dire’s shawl. He tapped it and Dire saw dust-like particles bounce and sparkle in the candle light.

She gathered some in her palm as they floated to the ground. Carefully, she brought the grains to her nose. “Wormwood?” She touched the tip of her tongue to the grains. “Lettuce oil and lime tree root. That one meant me to sleep, soundly and quickly, but not to harm or hurt.” She took Nory’s hand so he looked straight at her. “Think now, boy. Have you seen any strangers, any newcomers, in our village?”

Nory nodded vigorously and held up three fingers first, then one.

He puffed up his chest and flexed his arms then motioned as if setting a grinding wheel in motion followed by working a blade on it, testing the blade, and working it again.

“A tradesman? A tinker? A metal-worker? Come through the village looking for work?”

Nory nodded and held up a second finger. He motioned throwing a cloak over himself and pulled his already tiny frame in. He lifted an imaginary cup to his mouth and looked back and forth as he did so.

“Someone small? At the Red Fox? Smaller than you?”

No. Same size.

“Man or woman?”

Nory shrugged and drew the imaginary cloak tighter around his face.

“Who’s the third one?”

Nory imitated Father Baillot shaking holy water on everything around him followed by the sign for “other.”

“Another priest? From another village?”

Nory nodded.

“The first too big to be my caller. The second too small. And no priest I know knows how to mix sleeping dusts.”


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Mani He (part 4) now on Bewildering Stories Issue 950

Continuing the success of Mani He (part 1), Mani He (part 2), and Mani He part 3 in Bewildering Stories Issue 947 and Bewildering Stories issue 948, and Bewildering Stories Issue 949 respectively, Mani He (part 4) appears today in Bewildering Stories issue 950.

And if that’s not enough links for you in one paragraph, wait, there’s more!

Mani He originally appeared in Magic 1995, Crumb Elbow Publishing’s Read ‘N Run Anthology 1996, and my self-published Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires in 2016.

It’s wonderful to know a work is so appreciated it’s anthologized again and again, and again and again.

 
Many writers contributed to Bewildering Stories Issue 949 and I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading them all.

Please be sure to comment.

It means a lot to us.

Mani He (part 3) now on Bewildering Stories Issue 949

Continuing the success of Mani He (part 1) and Mani He (part 2) in Bewildering Stories Issue 947 and Bewildering Stories issue 948 respectively, Mani He (part 3) appears today in Bewildering Stories issue 949.

And if that’s not enough links for you in one paragraph, wait, there’s more!

Mani He originally appeared in Magic 1995, Crumb Elbow Publishing’s Read ‘N Run Anthology 1996, and my self-published Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires in 2016.

It’s wonderful to know a work is so appreciated it’s anthologized again and again, and again and again.

 
Many writers contributed to Bewildering Stories Issue 949 and I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading them all.

Please be sure to comment.

It means a lot to us.

Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 17

Hello again.

Have I mentioned that I thought Tag was a medieval murder mystery?

Now I’m wondering if it’s more a medieval thriller or simply another one of my cross-genre shifting stories of which my regular readers say, “Your genre is Joseph.”

Continuing here with Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 17.

Previous chapters here


Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 17

Tardiff gazed at the proclamation nicely framed upon his cottage wall. Someone told him the frame was “ornate.” “That is ornately carved,” they said.

He didn’t remember who said it. Probably one of the gentlemen who brought it to him. He remembered wanting to ask, “Who is Ornate?” and realized before making a fool of himself that “ornate” was how it was carved, the intricacy of the design, not who carved it.

The frame remained nicely carved after many years on his cottage wall, the vellum it framed not so. Baron Bassus made him UnderSheriff of Nant, a reward for faithful service in the Baron’s guard, but so little happened – and perhaps that was Bassus’s reasoning? Give the title to Tardiff the Fool because nothing happens there and no one cares if it does? – none called him UnderSheriff any more.

No, now it was Tardiff the Bellman. What had been patrolling the road and questioning travelers unknown to him became walking through Nant ringing the bell announcing the canonical hours of worship, making sure people were about their business and nobody else’s, and finally walking through every six hours, same bell in hand, to summon help if a fire burned unattended or a sheep or goat wandered from its flock.

Tardiff the Bellman. The job paid for his cottage, wood for his fire, food for his table, and the cup or two at the Red Fox now and again.

Ha.

Tardiff the Fool? All this for walking around ringing a bell?

Ha!

Oh, but let there be a body found and everyone runs to get Tardiff because he’ll know what to do.

Ha. Tardiff knew he was given this office because he knew how to keep his mouth shut when he overheard the Baron’s business, knew it’s better to have a full belly in the Baron’s guard than to be a body loosed through the Baron’s privies to the cesspit’s outside the castle walls.

Now Tardiff collects the Baron’s taxes and sends them once a year to Melia, to the Baron’s coffers, and with my regards, Lord Baron, all is well in Nant and its surrounds.

But a body?

Of an unknown girl? Not of the village?

Where did she come from?

What was she doing?

Why was she wearing Julia’s clothes?

Tardiff knew three words and he wrote them as precisely as he could, first making sure his ink flowed and his scroll rolled and unrolled without cracking. He wasted one whole scroll practicing the words until they looked as he remembered.

Satisfied, he put on his boots, hat, scarf, slung a wineskin over his shoulder and shoved a piece of pigrib rich with meat into his pocket.

It would be a day’s journey to Turo and back, the next town, to where he could pass his message on and be sure it reached the Baron’s hand.

It is how each year’s taxes went. It must be safe.

He stood inside his door and unrolled the scroll one more time to make sure his message was written clear.

“Lord Baron, Help.”

He’d attached the seal he used to send taxes so the Baron would know from whence it came.

He opened the door.

Father Baillot stood there.

Baillot glanced at the open scroll as Tardiff absently rolled it up.

“Father Baillot. Is there something you need? Whatever it is, can it wait? I have something I must do.”

Baillot stood silent, his dark eyes darting about under his saturno’s rim.

“Well?”

Baillot kept his eyes steady on Tardiff’s face. “I have business in Turo.”

Baillot smiled when Tardiff’s eyebrows rose.

“I’ll be gone…not long. Only a day.”

“Oh?”

“I was wondering…if you could watch my parishioners for me. While I’m away.”

Tardiff became magnanimous. He walked Baillot into the street without closing his door. “Of course, of course, Good Father. And perhaps there’s something you can do for me, as well. It will take you no time. You know the Sargeant there? Good, good, good. Perhaps you will hand this to him for me? Nothing to be concerned with. One of my regular messages to the Baron, to let him know all is well. Yes, yes, yes. Thank you, Good Father, thank you.”

Baillot set off towards Turo. Tardiff reached into his pocket, pulled out the pig’s rib, put it between his teeth, went inside his cottage and closed his door, satisfied his obligation to the Baron and the Baron’s taxes done.

***

Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post. Protected posts in the My Work, Marketing, and StoryCrafting categories require a subscription (starting at 1$US/month) to access. Protected posts outside those categories require a General (free) membership.
Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. Non-protected posts (there are several) are available to everyone.
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