Breaking the Author – Week Fifteen

It’s April 17th, 2016. Fifteen weeks have come and gone for 2016, so let’s talk about our progress!

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

So a quick rundown of what I accomplished towards these goals: Continue reading

The Wings Take Shape – Part Ten

It’s Tuesday and the ongoing adventures of the Winged Riders continues with Part Ten!

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

Last time on The Wings Take Shape, the Skinchanger Jon struggled with the form known as Stalker, a cougar. When taking the form to protect his squad from a night raid, he lost control and Stalker killed their Scout, Thomas Irons. He managed to control Stalker long enough to flee, leaving the Winged Riders to be captured.

Captain Renee Mollen and her Winged Riders escaped and fled to Sadie Sawyer Paige, looking for any advantage they could find, and her Smokeshifting ability was a big one. She found Sadie and learned that Jon may be lost to Stalker.

Meanwhile, Jon fought the will of Stalker, sometimes losing control of his body and his mind, sometimes gaining it back and forcing her will to his. He fought her when she suggested he kill innocent children just to feed, and fled back into the forest, intent on finding Renee and the others so he could shed his form and ask forgiveness.

On to Part Ten!

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The Wings Take Shape

Part Ten – Conflicting Thoughts

by Rick Cook Jr.

Stalker, Jon thought. He was in the Red Forest, creeping along, following the trail of Renee and the Winged Riders. His companion was silent.

Stalker, he prodded again. I know you can hear me talking.

Stalker bristled. You choose interesting words for what we do.

He snarled at a pack of wolves and they backed away from their hunt.

We can’t keep fighting for control like this.

Continue reading

Breaking the Author – Week Fourteen

It’s April 10th, 2016. It’s time to throw an update full of words at you!

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

The Wings Take Shape – Part Nine

If you’ve been impatiently waiting to find out what happened to Jon, well, this is your Tuesday! It’s time for the next part of my serial novella The Wings Take Shape!

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

Previously, the last known Winged Riders and free soldiers of an empire under siege were taken captive. Jon turned into a cougar using his Skinchanging ability, killed with reckless abandon, and fled into the night.

The other Winged Riders, under Captain Renee Mollen, managed to escape and head for Jon’s aunt, Sadie, also a Skinchanger and something a little more than that these days. On the way there, wild cougars attacked and Jon came to their rescue, but he couldn’t Skinchange back to a human and fled into the night once more.

Renee tracked down Sadie in the hollow root-system of an old redwood, much like the cadshee had lived in before during their earlier trials against the monster.

Now we head back a ways and find out just what happened with Jon while he was Changed into Stalker, the Cougar.

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The Wings Take Shape

Part Nine – Stalker

by Rick Cook Jr.

Jon was losing the fight. The struggle with Stalker had begun the moment he panicked and turned into her. Bodies fell, and he wasn’t in control. He’d always sensed something different about her. Something wild and untamed. Where the others were merely forms to take, Stalker always felt like a different voice in his head.

And she was angry at being so contained.

He fought back against her when she tore open Scout Irons’s throat, forced her to flee into the Bloody Wood.

The taste of Thomas’s blood down his throat was victory. It was pleasing. It haunted his steps. He couldn’t go back to them. Not now they knew what he was. After what he’d done. Continue reading

Breaking the Author – Week Thirteen

It’s April 3rd, 2016. I said it last week and I’ll say it again, Let’s do that update thing I do!

My goals for the thirteenth week of the year were as follows:

  • Write Shapes 2 Part 9
  • Write Week 4 for Writing Game Year 2
  • Continue broad edits on Writing Game Year 1
  • Finish line edits on Shapes 1 *
  • Maintain the blog
  • Submit a short story
  • Write a short story

Didn’t manage to submit or write a short story this week. Too much going on and I’m trying to focus in on that editing thing a bit more. Continue reading

The Wings Take Shape – Part Eight

Tuesday comes along, and with the dawning of this day, new words form up into a story for you to drink up like water in a desert.

Another chapter of 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 week, Captain Renee Mollen and her Winged Riders hid in the bloody wood, the Red Forest, seeking shelter for a little rest in the dangerous forest. Renee was worried about Jon, who had turned into a cougar in front of everyone, revealing his Skinchanger nature and violently murdering Renee’s Scout Irons in his rage and escape. She took to calling for him in the woods, but he didn’t appear.

Sergeant Marie Mollen, Renee’s twin sister, came to Renee and discussed their future and the wisdom in seeking Sadie out knowing that her nephew Jon’s fate was uncertain. The twinner bond they shared was weakening just as they needed it most, but once it starts to go, it is said nothing can be done.

Farsight Poul saw something in the woods creeping upon them, and a pack of cougars set upon them, snarling and ready to attack, but a larger cougar, what must have been Jon, scared them away.

He attempted to Change back to his normal human form, but it failed midway and he fled back into the bloody wood, still a cougar, still wild. They pressed on to find Sadie and hopefully some help.

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The Wings Take Shape

Part Eight – Sadie Skinchanger

by Rick Cook Jr.

Another town burned to the ground. Renee was sick of the sight. She brought her Wings to the edge of the bloody wood and they stared at the smoldering wreckage of Sadie’s village.

Marie’s fingers clenched around Renee’s arm. “Is she dead?” she whispered.

“As hard as she fought to keep herself alive against the cadshee? I doubt it.” Renee pulled her arm free and tugged on the reins, making her horse follow into the village square. The rest of Renee’s Wings and recruits came soon after.

It smelled only of charred wood and linen. No scents of burning flesh. No bodies to speak of. That was good. Where had Sadie gone? Had she taken the townsfolk to safety? Her children? Continue reading

Breaking the Author – Week Twelve

It’s March 27th, 2016! Let’s do that update thing I do.

I had goals for Week Twelve, and this is what they were:

  • Write Shapes 2 Part 8
  • Write Week 3 for Writing Game Year 2
  • Continue broad edits on Writing Game Year 1
  • Finish line edits on Shapes 1
  • Maintain the blog
  • Submit a short story, not necessarily Shibboleth

I did pretty good this week, and I had family in town during the latter part of the week, so I’m calling that a pretty big win. Continue reading