So today the Troy University Creative Writing Group has asked me to come speak to them. In honor of nanowrimo they want me to speak on being productive, and how I am able to write as much as I do. Also about my efforts to get published. Super excited and equally as nervous! Not a fan of public speaking at all, but too much of an honor for me to pass up!
Saturday. Geez. So close! I am more nervous this year than the last two. I am much busier this year, with a schedule not as conducive to writing. The greater the challenge, the greater the accomplishment though!
Going to be writing a horror novel thia year. All about things that go bump in the night, and tentatively titled Capitol of Nightmares.
Wish me luck!
So whats new…
…just finished a horror short story yesterday. I have finished a few stories since posting here last, that was just the most recent.
…getting ready for nanowrimo this year.
…got the proof of a story coming out in an anthology. It comes out on Halloween.
…lost the start of a story when a thumb drive broke.
Help me get to grad school! You can get some rewards for doing so, and my eternal gratitude! Check out the link below for all the details.
Please share this around for me!
Reginald Plots A New Direction
Wekkit arrived back on the ridgeline in time to see his master fawning over the massive pig Swarth had stolen from the farm. A number of other hogs had followed and were even now milling about around the palanquin, with a few minions interspersed amongst them. A quick glance behind him showed that a half dozen men were coming up the hill, angry looks upon their face, likely looking to recover their future porkchops.
The fat goblin began trying to gather up the other minions to form some sort of defensive line, but it was no easy task. It was made all the more difficult by the fact that most of the goblins were busy watching Reginald as he began casting some sort of spell on the sow. Arcane energies began swirling around his hands as he began chanting.
“Powers that be, hear my cry!
Take this beast, from the sty!
Make it fierce, and evil too!
That is what I’ll have you do!”
Threads of brilliant green energy launched from the mages fingertips and encircled the pig, lifting it from the ground and slowly spinning it. The swirls of energy were so bright as to all but obscure the changes happening within its grasp. Wekkit would have been just as entranced as the rest of had he not been keeping an eye on the steadily growing closer men.
With a squeal the sow emerged from the spell. Now it stood almost four feet at the shoulder, and was bristling with all manner of horns and tusks. Its teeth had gone pointy, and its eyes glowed with a pale baleful energy. Even Reginald was overawed at how nightmarish the demon pig now appeared.
Wekkit, though very impressed and marveling at the fact that the only time his master was not a complete idiot was when he was spell casting, began tugging at the mages filthy robes. “Fell overlord! My lord, the men, they approach!”
Reginald looked down the hill. “Oh. That they are.”
Wekkit grimaced. “My fell overlord, could you do something about them?”
A sheepish look came over the fell mages face. “Well, you see…I might have used up the last bit of my magic for awhile on the pig just then.”
The fat little goblins eyes bulged. “But…”
“Between that…and the standard…and minioning you guys…and blowing up that boulder…its just, well, I can only do so much in a day you know.” He looked at the men, and began slowly shuffling backwards. “But I have complete faith in you and the minions Captain Wekkit! Be a good minion now and go kill that angry looking lot over there.”
In his haste to back away Reginald tripped over Reck, he have bent over to take a closer look at the demon pig. Tumbling into the bucktoothed goblin he somehow managed to kick the minions spear into the hindquarter of the sow. With an ear shattering squeal, which sounded as though dozens of evil voices were trying to do pig impressions deep with the creatures throat, it lunged forward, Swarth clinging to its tale and being drug along behind it.
The men took one look at the demon pig, hooves pounding thunderously towards them, crackles of flame teasing from its mouth, and bolted down the hill. It raced after them for a good hundred yards before calming down enough to allow a now much battered Swarth to climb onto its back.
As the men fled and Swarth returned Reginald grabbed Wekkit by the shoulder. “I love it when a plan comes together! My brilliant leadership, your combat leadership, and Swarths bravery combined to win the day! Of course it was far more my leadership than either of those other things, but it won’t be said that I don’t give credit where credit is due!”
He turned to look over his little army and the numerous pigs. “A successful raid! We will have food for weeks now!” The mage glanced back down the hill. “And we can always return to bring a much deserved doom on these peasants later. For now though, let us be off, so that you can throw a feast in my honor!”
As he climbed back into his palanquin the mage had a thoughtful expression on his face, clearly deep in thought. He looked down at the portly Wekkit. “Captain, I believe it is time I had a dungeon.”
Reginald and the Battle of Almfords Farm
Reginald dashed to beside his standard, and looked down at the farm. He could clearly see Swarth dashing hither and yon about the farmyard, sometimes chasing, but mostly being chased by a number of burly pitchfork wielding humans. “So brave!” cried the mage while Wekkit rolled his eyes. A furious energy built up within Reginald, and leaping as high as he could he bellowed “CHARGE MY MINIONS!!!!”
Five goblins began racing down the hill as fast as the could. Dorkin stopped long enough to scoop up the standard, careful not to step on the tiny standardsprouts that were shooting up from the ground, before pounding his way after the others. Within a moment Reginald was alone on the ridge, gazing with pride as his minion army proceeded to make its first conquest.
Wekkit was almost instantly wheezing, and happily allowed the other goblins to race ahead. Had it not been for Swarth’s elusiveness down below, he might would have tried to convince the mage to let him ‘direct the assault’ from the ridgeline. But he wanted to make sure the smarmy sergeant got what was coming to him.
Swarth meanwhile had taken cover in a pen of some sort, attempting his best to hide from the rampaging humans. They had not taken his statement that ‘all he was doing was scouting for the army of Reginald the Fell, a foul mage’ very well at all. One woman had launched a pot of stew at him, which seeing as it was coupled with several angry men following after it, was not the gift he thought it was. It was then that a fearsome grunting started up behind him.
The ramshackle legion had ran for half a mile, and to be honest, none had run more than from the campfire to a convenient shrub on chili night in years. All six were dripping sweat so hard they could hardly hold on to the spears, much less wield them with any efficiency. So slowly were they going that several of the humans actually began to laugh at the pitiful sight. Other than Dorkin, who even carrying the massive standard seemed good to go, the rest looked ready to die of heart attacks at any moment.
“This is too easy! Lets kill them and be done with it boys! Dinner is waiting!” cried a heavily bearded farmer.
The minions weakly raised spears, readying themselves for a charge that was really more of a meander in their direction. To Wekkit it was clear that they were doomed to be skewered by the much taller, stronger, and in fact more numerous farmhands coming towards them. Knuckles white on his spear, which in spite of that was slowly slipping through his sweaty fingers, he readied himself to die, cursing Swarth with every breath.
Reginald, who was still up on the hill as befitted a fell wizard, came to the conclusion that he was perhaps a bit too far away to be of any real service to his minions. He had spells a plenty that would wreck havoc upon the farm…but only if he was closer. He decided that it was a good thing Wekkit had things well in hand down there, the little goblin drawing the humans into some sort of trap it seemed.
The goblins would have ran, but they were too tired and (save for Wekkit) too stupid to know that they should. Just as quickly as Reginald had acquired his army, it was to be lost to him. But then it happened.
Bursting from behind the walls of the pig pen cam Swarth, riding atop a massive sow. The beast reared, loosing a tremendous squeal as the goblin raised his spear to the crook of his arm, holding it like a knight would a lance. It was a dramatic sight, made even more so by the dozen or so other hogs that came barreling out of the pen behind them. With a cry Swarth put boots to side and drove the sow forward, scattering the men and forcing them to leap for cover.
In the brief moment of respite given them, Wekkit had them all racing back up the hill as fast as they could, blessedly thankful that he was still alive. He was almost about to forgo revenge against the goblin sergant, until he heard his masters rapturous cries.
“Swarth! Cavalry! You shall be my Captain of Cavalry!”
Eye twitching, Wekkit made his way up the hill, the laughter of the humans haunting him as he did.
Reginald Arrives at the Farm
With the rearrangement of troops suggested by Wekkit, Reginald found his ride to be much smoother. He only felt ever so slightly queasy, and that was more from the lack of having eaten recently. Visions of all manner of breakfast foods warred with his preexisting visions of doom and destruction, till his mind was a tizzy with shattered eggs and buildings.
With his banner wobbling thunderously in front of him, minions beneath him, and able commanders taking the field, he truly felt that things were really beginning to go his way. His awesome mental powers were at last being allowed to stretch their legs, released from the chains of servitude as an apprentice to that old wretch of a wizard who had trained him. Something grand was in the offing, and it would all begin with the conquest of this farm.
The little caravan crested the last ridge before reaching the farm, which could not be more than a half a mile away now. Reginald could not be sure however, as his standard was blocking his view. Repeated clearings of his throat had elicited no response from the massive goblin holding it, instead Wekkit began looking around for something for his lord to drink. At last with a sigh he ordered the minion, who he was beginning to suspect was half troll due to his size and idiocy, to plant the banner on the hilltop.
“Wekkit, have Master Sergeant Swarth scout the terrain.”
Reginald failed to notice the fat little goblin flinch at his rival’s title. A flinch that turned into a gleam of opportunity in his squinty eyes. “Of course my most fell lord. At once.”
Wekkit strode past his brother Dorkin who had dug a small hole with the butt of the standard and had placed it inside. Nodding he carried on until he stood beside the dimwitted sergeant. The pudgy goblin was a jealous sort, and desperate above all things that if he had to be a minion, he had to be the number one minion. Other goblins that were ‘officer material’ may as well start painting bullseyes upon their backs he thought, because he would nip that problem in the bud.
“Sergeant Swarth, our master has asked for you to scout ahead to the farm.”
“Scout?” Befuddlement was etched on Swarth’s face. “What’s scout?”
Grinning broadly, Wekkit put an arm around the others shoulder. “Oh that’s simple Sergeant. Just walk down into that farm and look around a bit.”
Swarth chewed his lower lip. “Uh, what if them folks there sees me?”
Wekkit waved his hands soothingly. “Oh nothing to worry about. If they do, just tell them what you are doing, and they will let you go on about your business I am sure.”
A lopsided grin crossed the goblins face. “Oh ok!” Gripping his spear in hand he began trundling off in the direction of the farm,
Wekkit watched him go. While alerting the farm to their coming was not a good thing, removing his rival was. And the idiot goblin would most likely have alerted the people down there anyway, so what did it matter. Turning he walked back towards his master.
As he closed with the group he paused as he saw Dorkin take out his water skin and begin to pour it out around the base of the standard. “Dorkin?”
The massive minion looked over. “Yeah?”
“What are you doing?”
The goblin looked from Wekkit to standard and back again. “Planting, like the boss said.”
Wekkit opened his mouth to say something, but thinking better of it just walked on by as his brother spoke soothingly to the standard, seemingly trying to coax it to bud. Thankfully his lord had been consumed with trying to gracefully dismount from the palanquin, though rather unsuccessfully as his barked orders to lower it as one was met with mixed success. As a result he had half tumbled from it, only barely avoiding landing face first in the dirt.
The mage was on the verge of whipping up some magic with which to punish his idiotic minions when a tremendous ruckus came from the direction of the farm. Bells rang, women screamed, and men shouted.
The Battle for Almfords Farm had begun.
Reginald and the Flag
Having safely insured that his master was sufficiently distracted by thoughts of what to construct the actual standard out of, Wekkit walked off into the brush to follow up on the minions assigned with finding a suitable pole. He was fortunate that the windy plane did not allow for many trees to grow too large, making the pole lighter he hoped, but at the same time it did lead to very, very few trees with any sort of straightness to them.
Ahead he could see the top of a small tree shaking rather violently, and judging from the various grunts and groans coming from that direction he suspected that his cohorts had found what they were looking for. And so it was that he rounded a rocky outcropping, mouth open to congratulate them, when he was stopped dead in his tracks.
There, crouched low next to the tree, was the other new goblin Reck. Axe strapped snugly to his back he sat there chewing the small tree’s trunk while the other minions looked on.
It took the pudgy goblin a moment to take it all in, hoping against hope that something would begin to make sense, but that was not the case. Walking into the midst of the bunch he leaned down to lock eyes with Reck. “You have an axe.”
“Mmm hur,” said the gnawing goblin.
With all the patience he could muster Wekkit spoke. “Why don’t you use it?”
Reck removed his mouth from the tree, which he was already over half way through, and flashed an incredibly toothy grin. “Boss, my gran, she was what they call a beaverkin. I gots her teeth my mah always said!”
Wekkit was prepared to concede that the teeth looked adequate to the job, however he was not prepared to give up the point that the axe would be faster, and said so.
It was his brother Dorkin, the biggest and dumbest who answered. “Dat axe ‘spensive. Teef is free.”
Wekkit stared blankly at each of them in turn, stunned, and then walked away as Reck continued chewing away at the tree. He was almost back to the palanquin when he heard a crack, and a glance back showed it toppling over. With a resigned shrug he carried on, finding himself back in his lords presence.
Reginald was in the midst of summoning his standard. Conjuration and construction magics were not his specialty, but he more than made up for that in enthusiasm. He was no good with anything that required finesse, like cloth or fabric, but he had a bit of knack with metal, so he had decided to make it out of a sheet of tin. Being as unskilled at painting as your average goblin would be at origami he decided to just make the banner in the shape of his sigil, the same that graced each of his minions shoulder.
It took some time, but just as the finishing touch had been placed on it and it rattled thunderously to the ground as it popped fully into existence, the minions returned with the staff to affix it to. Giggling with glee he summoned up a touch more magic and bound the two together. It was truly awes inspiring, over eight feet tall with the dragons wing span well over seven feet wide. Truly glorious!
Wekkit looked at the standard, which was double his height and width, and looked to weigh in the neighborhood of at least 100 lbs.
Reginald thought he heard his captain say ‘Nope.’ “What was that Wekkit?”
Wekkit’s eyes bulged just a bit, most likely due to how impressed he was by the standard the mage thought, and the glory that would be his for wielding it. He could see the fat little goblin looking from the standard to the palanquin, back and forth, back and forth, clearly trying to decide what would be the most fulfilling way to serve his lord.
“My most fell overlord! I…uh…I would offer a suggestion. Perhaps Dorkin might carry the standard, as he is the most physically impressive of your servants and would make a most striking figure. And with your lithe form, only four goblins need carry your magnificence, leaving me free to supervise, and Swarth there to scout our advance to the farm.”
Reginald grinned broadly, realizing that the lopsidedness and limpingness of his palanquin would be greatly diminished by this. “Very well Captain Wekkit. Swarth, you are now Master Sergeant Swarth, commander of my scouting core!”
If looks could kill, Swarth would have been bludgeoned to death by a pair of fat little goblin eyes.
Reginald Takes A Ride
Wekkit looked over the palanquin with no small amount of pride. Though given little more than trash to work with, he had supervised the pile of detritus into a serviceable mode of transportation. The fact that he intended to use it for himself any chance he could get away with it only added to his desire to make it as sturdy as possible. If he was completely honest with himself, that was really the only reason. But even with himself, he felt it never paid to be completely honest.
Reginald clambered down from the boulder where he had been standing, trying to look as fearsome as he could as he gazed towards the distant farmstead. Wekkit was just glad that the boulder had been downwind. The mage began stalking around the contraption, poking and prodding it as he did so, looking for some fault. It was clear however that even basic construction principles were beyond him, so after a cursory inspection climbed onto the stump that functioned as the seat.
“Very good minions! Now scurry round, and let us be moving!”
Wekkit herded the other minions around the palanquin, three to a side, and instructed them to lift. Of course, being goblins they still managed to almost screw even that simple task up, lifting so badly out of sync that Reginald almost went flying off it to one side. At last though the six minions had it lifted shoulder high and stood ready to march him wherever he so desired.
“Yes my most fell overlord?”
“Lead the way! We are going to pillage that farm, and reap its bounty for ourselves!”
“Of course master, at once! Forward!”
It took a moment to get all six of the other goblins on the same page as to what forward meant, but once that was accomplished they began making fairly good time towards the farm.
It took a few minutes of staring up towards the clouds for Reginald to realize that something was amiss. At first he had thought himself merely gazing dramatically, as all good overlords must do from time to time to inspire their minions. But after a bit he came to realize that the goblin in the very front was at least a good foot taller than the rest, and as such he was leaning back. Compounding it was the fact that the goblin in the rear left had one leg much shorter than the other, and as such had a rather noticeable hitch in his walk.
Reginald could only compare it to the one time he had tried riding a horse that was not fully broken. It had bucked him off in a fairly similar manner.
All over Swarth.
And then he fell off.
Wekkit raced over to help his master up on his feet, holding his breath as he wiped a bit of puke and drool from the dazed face of his lord. Leaning over he discreetly wiped his hand off on one of the few un-puke-coated bits of Swarth, who stood there whimpering piteously.
“Ahh…uh yes Wekkit. I uh…I needed a bit of a rest. To plan. You know.”
Wekkit nodded sympathetically. “Of course my most fell overlord.” The goblin knew he should just keep his mouth shut, but the little bit snark that lived within him had been dying to come out and torment for hours now. So he let it. “And what do you have planned my lord?”
The mage looked around, clearly still somewhat dazed. He looked from goblin to goblin, and stared weakly at the palanquin once more. Shaking his head as though trying to clear it seemed to jar loose an idea, as he turned to face his captain with an air od decisiveness once more. “Wekkit, I desire a standard. And a standard bearer.”
“Yes my most fell overlord. At once!” Wekkit weighed his options. The palanquin looked heavy, and there was the chance of being covered by puke. The standard was an unknown quality, but it had to be better than that. “I shall bear it forth for you myself!”
Oh how quickly he would come to regret those words.
Reginald Gets A Compliment
Reginald celebrated the start of his legion of minions by promptly sending them out to procure the necessary items with which to construct him a palanquin. As his captain, who as it turns out was actually named Wekkit, relayed his orders with much yelling and hand waving the fell wizard settled down to plot his next move.
Five goblins did not an army make that much was certain. With such a paltry force, even lead by such brilliance as what he possessed, he doubted he would be able to even take over the last village he had been chased from. But without some sort of evil gains to show to the Council of Fell Mages he would never be allowed to increase his rank, and thus minion allotment.
Climbing atop the shattered boulder he had earlier blasted with his magics he began scanning the horizon. Ahead up the path he had been traveling was a mountain range, very grim and foreboding looking. With a flight of vultures circling over a few of the peaks, it had just the sort of ambience that a dark mage looked for in choosing a lair he thought.
Looking around in the other directions showed little of interest. A few trees, some low rolling hills, assorted game paths…a farm. His eyes widened. There just a few miles away squatted a grubby little farmhouse and barn, just begging for his evil magnificence to bring doom upon it. The perfect test for his new army!
Climbing down from the rubble he looked around at the pile of detritus that his minions had collected to construct him a suitable mode of transportation with. A few saplings that looked as though they had been gnawed down rather than cut, vines, a scattering of bones and a stump sat in the small clearing, surrounded by seven eager looking minions. In his haste to look over their offerings Reginald almost overlooked the fact that he only had had only five minions a few minutes ago.
Wekkit had decided that if he had to be a minion, he would be the number one minion, so help him gods of darkness. Following the ancient goblin adage that ‘misery loves company’ he felt it was his duty to point out the two goblins who had wandered up, no doubt drawn by the sound of the boulder exploding earlier. Besides, he hoped to rustle up some cannon fodder so as to keep his brothers at least a little safe. And more importantly, keep him far, far from the front lines of any battle his new master could stumble into.
Clearing his throat the fat goblin spoke up. “My most fell overlord, I belive already more flock to your banner.”
“Huh…wha? Oh! BOOM MINIONED!!” The mage cackled. “Good looking out Wekkit! I knew my fell majesty would quickly bring more eager to serve Reginald the Foul!”
One of the new goblins curled his nose a bit at the smell wafting from the wizard, which even by goblin standards was pretty awful. “Oi, youse one of dem foul wizards den?”
Reginald shook his head. “Fell. Fell Wizard. Not foul wizard.”
A look of confusion spread over the goblins face. It was clear this was more or less its natural state of being. “But youse said you was foul.”
“Well yes, that is my name. I am Reginald the Foul, Fell Wizard of the Ninth Circle.”
“Well youse is the most awefully foul wizard I nose.”
Reginald blushed, clearly misunderstanding. “Oh please stop, flattery will get you nowhere…oh who am I kidding, carry on! Wekkit make a note of that one, he has officer material written all over him.”
As the mage continued looking through the pile of cast offs, muttering and chuckling to himself, the new goblin Swarth began looking all over himself for the writing Reginald had been talking about. Wekkit held his face in his hands, repeating a calming mantra he had learned from a Jelawese monk they had captured a few months back.
It didn’t help.