Reflections of Us

By eugena On December 18th, 2013

Hello out there Readers.  I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season.

I recently took the “NAMOWRIMO” month as an encouragement to work on some more writing.  Right now, I am focusing on Character Motivations.  In Shinigami, I explore Shirayukihime’s conflicted desire for self vs. what is best for her people as a whole.  I worked on one of the act “climax” scenes, for those of you out there familiar with the term (though it’s more so in the screenwriting context).  It’s certainly different to look at the before and after.  Before, she’s considering the changes in “life” (she’s a God of Death, Shinigami, is she living?) and ready to take on some desires, even if they are forbidden.  Then here at the climax for Act 1 (though I may move it along to Act 2), there is the after, or at least the begining of it.  She takes what a lot of real life people don’t, responsibility, for her actions, including things derived from those actions.  She makes what many would consider a bad choice, but chooses what she finds as a repentance and perhaps the only path of restoration left to her.  (Really sorry, don’t want to spoil it, but would you out there really read the first part if you knew this big event?  Maybe so.)

And as to The Age of Merrik, as some of you may be familiar, I am working on the sequel, Rise of the New Masters.  Lately, I’m taking the focus on Zsastar, Son of Malik.  ***SPOILER ALERT****

**SPOILER.  TURN AWAY IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW.**

So, he’s finding himself falling in love with Eleya.  Though according to the vicious First General, who has a personal stake in Zsastar’s well-being, he’s already fallen for her.  His father, King Malik, fell in love with the Sword Master and Seer Skye.  This of course caused all sorts of problems.  The long-standing feud between Ancient Sethane and the Sword Masters was temporarily broken, but only for her.  Furthermore, Malik gets revenge on the Sword Master Zaelen, father of Zaedrif and Zibiah, for betraying Skye.

So, can Zsastar do it?  Can he look past the feud like his father did?  Will he feel too guilty because, like his father, he believed that all Sword Masters are to share in the blame for Skye’s betrayal and, what is arguably, her state of death?

*SPOILER ENDS HERE*

So, what’s my recommended song for this week?  I’d have to say “Let It Go” from the new Disney Frozen movie.  I’m not much of a fan of animation in contract to a live action film, particularly of the action genre, but this was a great movie.  It had actors in it that could actually sing, not ones that did the voice and another for the songs.  It’s not as good as a musical on broadway, but it’s really aimed for kids anyway.  It’s Disney, but at least it’s not “You gotta go get married, because that’s all little girls want,” like the much earlier movies.  Disney Pixar’s Brave focused on the Mother-Daughter bond, and this one focused on a bond between Sisters.  I love singing talent, and to see it in a movie makes the story even better.  Excellent casting.  I would also recommend the music video of “Let It Go.”

And speaking of music videos, check out “What Does the Fox Say?”.  Hilarious.  I also recommend Transition’sSorry My Chinese Isn’t So Good.”

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The Choice Is Yours

By eugena On October 1st, 2011

Being an American, I’m fully acquainted with apathy. Maybe not in all parts of America, but it has been a golden standard in parts I have lived in.

In the past two weeks, I have been asked what my published novel, The Age of Merrik: The Anointing is about. In one way, it is difficult for me to summarize. I used it as a writing process to further hone my skills (they are far superior to what they were when it was published). In addition, I wrote three versions of it. Yet I really have to stop and think of a short summary of the published edition.

The protagonist, Merrik, is a young ruler of a kingdom (Tyera). After an eight year absence, The General, the Son of King Malik (a ruthless king) has returned to finish destroying Merrik’s homeland. He and his forces use Tyera as a base to enslave the neighboring kingdom (Rikan). He challenges Merrik and although Merrik is up to the challenge, he finds that most of his subjects have become apathetic and willing to accept The General without question (and falling for his lies). Merrik eventually fails the challenge and his rule is usurped. Only when his people and the people of Rikan are willing to fight for their freedom do they have the chance to receive it again.

Political Undertones

Political Marriages – A big theme of mine. Very big in my new novel WIP King’s Romance (working title). Merrik agrees to keep his enagement to Brianna for cultural reasons, but says she will merely “bear . . . [his] children quickly” and be banished from the hearts of the people.

Political Sucession – A cycle of rise, fall, and rise to leadership. Merrik, The General, Merrik. The inheritance of Sethane (Malik’s Kingdom) is assumed to be left to The General, though most of this importance is viewed in other books. Skye, former Swordmaster of Rikan, gave up her freedom to hand what land would become Nemea to Zaelen (Zaedrif’s Father) and to save him from Malik.

Deceit – The General on Liana, Liana on everyone else. The General on Brianna (also in a romantic fashion).

Role of Women – Brianna sees her role as simply being with the leader. That the leader will “make” her. Both Eleya and Elisha show their abilities and importance, each making themselves by their own worth. The Swordmaster leader is female. Merrik acknowledges their worth. The General uses Brianna as she is willing, but only because this is what she expects of herself. The General greatly respects women due to his love for his mother, *****spoiler***** Skye.

Relationship

Naivety – John and Miriam. Ken’rid’s crush on Eleya. Brianna’s belief in The General.

One-Sided – Jonas’ love for Brianna. Casseya’s love for Merrik. The General’s preoccupation with Eleya.

Cultural Chain – Merrik agreeing to still marry Brianna (“the vow”). Skye giving herself to Malik to save Zaelen, simply due to visions she had about Zaelen’s future.

Betrayal – Brianna’s betrayal of Merrik (love). Liana’s betrayal of Rikan (country). Zaedrif’s prior betrayal of everyone including Eleya (both).

What is a Family? – Merrik was adopted. He has a strong bond to those parents.

Death and Rebirth – Perhaps my biggest general category of theme.

The Swordmasters as a whole are dying. Eleya should have died in the beginning but appears later. The price of this rebirth appears to be her memories and her power. Through her rebirth, she gains power. Eleya (in Rikan as “Merris”) is often appears as sickly and personifies death. “Life” returns as Merris becomes Eleya again.

Everyman

The ethnicity in The Age of Merrik is homogeneous. Mortals possesses equal rights. The only divide is within the divine – the god (Serafin), the demi-god (swordmasters), and the mortal.

A small Merrik/Eleya (as Merris) passage:

[Merrik] had thought of what he wanted to say next. He had considered this since he saw Brianna with The General. He no longer had Cle’an’s wise council, but he felt she was as wise. He needed her advice.

“I’ve thought of this Merris, and I know what I will do after The General is gone. Brianna and I will wed, and she will bear my children quickly. I will banish her, and her children will learn to banish her even from their hearts. They will grow to understand the extent of her betrayal.”

“It could happen, since she is allied to The General. Even the smallest of human hearts can understand this darkness. She would be a mother as only life would command her, not in bond.”

“She would not be like my mother. I know only the family who raised me. My bond is in their hearts, even though they did not see my earliest days.”

“The way it should be.” Merris looked down to her arms, noting that even in this light they were still paler than others’ skin. Other people possessed skin tones all the same, the shade varying only in deep sickness or death.

Chapter 11: A Small Respite

The Choice Is Yours. [Yes, that is a song reference.]

Will the masses let their own Generals conqueror them with their own apathy?

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New Masters and Dark Desires Simultaneous Development

By eugena On March 26th, 2011

I am writing more of Dark Desires than Rise of the New Masters, but New Masters will be a “bookend” to may of the events of Dark Desires. It will provide closure and return The Age of Merrik series to a more lineal development.

I originally planned 6-8 novels but right now here are the definites in reading order:

Dark Desires
The Age of Merrik: The Anointing
The Age of Merrik: Rise of the New Masters

It will probably be a very short “Rise” and although I will try to have it stand on its own, reading Dark Desires will give the reader a better understanding of the small details.

Killing off the Cast

For Dark Desires, I will have to create a lot of swordmasters. And most of them will die off. They are having a massive war, after all. So here is a list of known masters.

**Spoiler Warning**

Anara, Elenas, and Children — Historical figures, featured in DD, TA, ROTNM
Areya – TA, ROTNM
Eleya, Regina – DD, TA, ROTNM
Merrik – TA, ROTNM
Nathan – DD, TA, ROTNM
Zaedrif – DD, TA, ROTNM
Zibiah – DD, TA

And for the “floater” awards: Skye, Zaelen, Nemara

The characters get last names in DD and ROTNM.

I suppose King Malik has to get defeated in one of these books, but I might give him a long reign for now.

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Fan Q&A: Why Don’t the Swordmasters Die?

By eugena On February 11th, 2011

Fan Q: Why don’t the sword masters die?

Answer: I assure you that they do. There is quite a long list of the dead. Sword masters named in TAOM: TA who die are Nathan of Anthama, Zaelen and Nemara of Nemea (died before TAOM: TA), and (*Spoilers* Zibiah and Zaedrif of Nemea, and Skye is for all practical purposes dead–though Malik would disagree–more discussion on this later when my Reference Library website opens up (when I finish it))and *further spoilers* the problem with Eleya/Merris is explained a bit in TAOM:TA and will be much further explained in TAOM: ROTNM.
Perhaps an easier explanation is to consider The Great Chain of Being.  Humans were lower than angels, which were lower than God.  Non sword masters are like the humans, sword masters are like the angels, and the Serafin is God.  So, what can kill a lowly human cannot kill a sword master (or perhaps certain Malik allies)?  However, since sword masters are not angels, they can die.  Just not as easily as others.

Also, the Regina has a great influence in prolonging the life of the master–including slowing the aging process and being hard to kill in general.  This mainly comes from an early idea from TAOM:TA version one (version three is the published one).

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