The Wings Take Shape – Part Seventeen

Part Seventeen coming at you!

If you’re new to the story, head to Part One and start from the beginning!

Last week on Wings, the preparation had begun for the assault on the besieged capital of their homeland. Rothfort was a fortress, but they had a dragon.

Renee and the rest of her Wings that had bonded with the animal spirits, the Totems, changed into their animal forms after agreeing to a hasty plan to free their families and any soldiers within the capital to fight back. It was a desperate move, but it had to be made. The longer the enemy controlled the city, the firmer their grasp on the country became.


The Wings Take Shape

Part Seventeen – Assault

by Rick Cook Jr.

Deep in the heart of the military quarter, a woman heard a noise. Faint at first, so faint that Captain Claire Claymonte wasn’t even sure she was hearing it.

It had been a long few days in the prisons. They had beaten her. They had killed other Captains. She was sure she’d be next. Continue reading

Breaking the Author – Week Twenty One

It’s Monday, May 30th. Which means this post is a day late, but whatever, let’s get to it!

I’ll be brief this week because I’ve got a lot of stuff to do before going back to work tomorrow. A fair amount of my time has been taken up with home stuff as I’m preparing to take over my two-bedroom apartment in full instead of sharing it with a roommate. So shopping and planning and all the chores that go with keeping up the place now fall directly on my shoulders.

Which is to say that it’s my excuse for not getting as much done as I’d have liked. Continue reading

Media Medley – May 2016

Holy cow, it’s closing in on the end of May already? Let’s talk about stuff I’ve been watching, reading, and playing!


I watched two movies this month, Special Correspondents which was kind of a stinker, and Captain America: Civil War, which was not, so Civil War takes the prize!

Things I loved about Civil War: Captain America gets actual character development. Black Panther. Spider-Man. Ant-Man’s twist on powers. Falcon and Winter Soldier hating on each other. There were issues with the movie (partly because there were only a thousand people in it), but overall it was highly enjoyable and shoves the MCU into an interesting direction.


Continue reading

The Wings Take Shape – Part Sixteen

Part Sixteen, and the beginning of the final act of The Wings Take Shape!

If you’re new to the story, head to Part One and start from the beginning!

Last time on Wings, Captain Renee Mollen, having survived betrayal at the hands of her new recruits by melding with the Totem spirit Swiftstrike (along with Marie), worked to convince her Winged Riders to take on other Totem spirits that Sadie had gathered to her.

After much discussion, she succeeded in granting all but three of the Totems to her soldiers Regina Hughes, Aldwin Tanner, Patricia Nightingale, Giselle Wander, and to the would-be-murderers Danver Cummins and Hilde Allworth.

She then hatched a plan with their newfound abilities against the foreign enemy at their capital city, Rothfort.


The Wings Take Shape

Part Sixteen – Prep

by Rick Cook Jr.

They couldn’t storm Rothfort, of course. The foreign soldiers would take them down eventually, nine plus Sadie and a few able soldiers.

Jon knew it, Stalker knew it, but they came to the knowledge differently.

They crept through the Bloody Wood, each of the new Totem-Bonded still adjusting to having voices inside their heads. Nightingale refused to stay in human form, kept taking to the sky to glide as her Totem wished to do. Jon was glad for her. Continue reading

Breaking the Author – Week Twenty

It’s May 22nd, 2016. Let’s talk about goals and things!

My goals for Second Quarter of 2016 (April-June) are as follows:

  • Finish Shapes 1 Editing and Self-Publish It
  • Finish Writing Game Year 1 Editing and Release It For Free
  • Finish Writing Game Year 2
  • Finish Shapes 2 Writing
  • Plot Shapes 3 for Third Quarter Posting
  • Write Four Short Stories
  • Submit Three Short Stories
  • Finish Gridfall Editing and Begin Submitting to Agents
  • Maintain the blog

Continue reading

Delivering On Your Premise

We’ve all been there. An idea pops into your head and it’s so ludicrous, so fun, that you just have to start writing it down. Erudite and lusty space dinosaurs? Go for it! A world in which you can taste colors, giving completely blind people a way to describe the spectrum? Why the hell not!

Then you get excited about it, and because you’re not a soulless automaton, you talk to people about the thing you’re excited about, which in turn excites them. You have just built anticipation for the idea.

Now you just have to write the thing that will live up to what’s in your head and in their imaginations. Continue reading

The Wings Take Shape – Part Fifteen

A late posting of the next part of the serial novella, The Wings Take Shape!

If you’re new to the story, head to Part One and start from the beginning!

Last time on Wings, Stalker and Jon were busy with Sadie gaining a new, deeper bond. While she waited, Renee let herself be pulled into a trap by Danver and Hilde, who told her they were recruiting for her new army. When she arrived, Hilde stabbed her in the back and Renee thought she was going to die.

Except the spirit of the Wolf Totem, Swiftstrike, entered her and Marie and joined them like Stalker did Jon. Now the Winged Riders have an advantage, if only they can figure out how to utilize it!


The Wings Take Shape

Part Fifteen – The Totems Reborn

by Rick Cook Jr.

Marie hadn’t gotten used to the feeling yet. She and Renee spent hours talking to Swiftstrike, learning about him, sharing stories, thrilling in being able to communicate mentally more fully via Swiftstrike.

He wanted to Change, but Marie wasn’t sure she was ready to let him try.

I wish to run, he said. Continue reading

Breaking the Author – Hiatus

It’s the 19th week of the year and normally I’d be making a weekly update post, but I have been traveling, and visiting friends and family, and it has been difficult getting anything done.

So I am giving myself the day off! Normal posts resume Tuesday.

Until then, give yourself a day of rest, too

The Wings Take Shape – Part Fourteen

Part Fourteen of the serial novella The Wings Take Shape is coming at you!

If you’re new to the story, head to Part One and start from the beginning!

Last time on Wings, Stalker and Jon held counsel with Sadie and Renee, learning the truth of the Skinchangers and the enslaved Totems that made them possible. The cadshee had been a product of the Totems, animal spirit gods of the forest, and he enslaved them with their own power, infusing their spirits into the humans that would create the line of Skinchangers. Sadie, being the heir of the cadshee’s powers, agreed to try and free Stalker from Jon, giving her the freedom she so deeply desired.

It was not possible to split their souls, but Sadie discovered she could link them more permanently, giving Jon and Stalker equal control and consciousness. The essences of the other Totems within Jon were stripped away, joining with Sadie, all save for one that appeared to flee and disappear. Before they could enjoy their newfound symbiotic relationship, Renee screamed from down in the tunnels of the cadshee’s home.


The Wings Take Shape

Part Fourteen – A Bond Breaks

by Rick Cook Jr.

“We should be up there,” Marie protested. Renee came back from the meeting with Jon and Sadie, worried all over that something awful was going to befall him. She hated being worried about Jon when she should be plotting to take back Rothfort, to liberate Roth Arden, but she couldn’t help it.

She said to those assembled, “It’s not our business. It’s Totem. It’s Skinchanger. We don’t have the right.” Continue reading