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Tuesday morning random times


Darkness and light

I think I’m getting used to the dark mornings.  Of course, this is just as winter is beginning to move into spring.

I can’t really explain it, but there’s something tranquil about the early mornings and the dark still there.  Wake up at 5:00 a.m. and it’s still dark.  There’s no traffic, noise seems to carry further, you can hear things much more clearly, and there seems to be a sort of peace.

It might have to do with the fact it’s also gotten warmer.  After a few weeks of -30 to -20 mornings, the temperature now sits around -10 to -5 in the morning.  Which is a good thing.

Eventually, mornings will become lighter again, and I’ll greet that more readily than when summer gives way to fall and fall gives way to winter.  Even with the sun rising at 5:00 in the morning, there’s still a peace and tranquility to be had.

Television

On weekends I’ll usually stay up later.  On weekdays I get up earlier.

Often, I’ll go out onto my balcony with a coffee and a cigarette, and I can’t help but see all the things around me.  Like the building across the street.  It’s a set of condos, and often you can gauge when people go to bed and when people get up.

But there’s one neighbour who has a really big television.  I could pretty much watch it from my balcony if I desired.  Which I don’t because there’s no sound.  But I noticed lately, my neighbour’s television is on later and on earlier than usual.

It’s the Olympics.  You can tell because you know the way footage for play by play hockey goes, or curling, or figure skating.  But my neighbour really seems to like the Olympics.

February Writer’s Challenge

Like NaNoWriMo, February Writer’s Challenge turned into a very big bust.

I’ve had no motivation to write what I want.  I’ve doodled writing, jotting down little bits of things here and there.  Never posting anything, because it all feels like crap.

I’ve read over things I’ve written, I’ve become listless when I want to write.  I’m not at a very good place creatively, and this bothers me.  I suppose it might pass, but I’ve been waiting for it to pass for several months while I write poetry and small stories.

Maybe that’s what I’ll just have to do, to keep some form of creativity flowing.  Poetry and short stories.

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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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Ravenport: Chapter One


The first chapter of the February Writer’s Challenge!

Ravenport, Maine is a mysterious place.  East of Bangor and only twenty minutes from the U.S./Canada border lay this sleepy little port city.  It holds a dark secret and draws in some of the worst kind of people, seeking power and fame through unnatural means.  But it also draws people who want to prevent the perversion of the power and keep it hidden away.

A series of murders has taken place.  Is this just a random act, the actions of a serial killer, or someone who is trying to find a way to appease the evil that resides around Ravenport.  It’s up to Yolanda Morgan and Chelsea Morgon to find out.

Click the link to download the first part of the adventure.

Ravenport Chpt 1

 

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February Writer’s Challenge: Ravenport FAQ


thebowhuntress

The February Writer’s Challenge is on, and so far it’s doing well.  I went above and beyond for the first day, and hope to equal that with today’s run.  This post is about answering some questions about why I’m writing this piece.  Here’s some interesting questions I’ve received about this project.

It’s about superheroes, why try to add in a mirror of real life?

When we write we often use real life as an inspiration.  So the characters and events I’ve created are based on things in real life.

So, you’re being an SJW by having two black characters?

No, not really.  In every city in North America, there’s a huge amount of diversity.  It would be extremely foolish to think that a large urban center would have only white people.  Even in Saskatchewan, there’s a large amount of diversity.  Since moving to Humboldt, I’ve noticed a great number of people from different ethnic backgrounds who live here.  Sure, this place started as a very white European population, but as years went by, people from different backgrounds moved here.  And many hold down jobs we’d consider higher professional, like doctors and lawyers.  It isn’t uncommon for someone of African or Western Asian ancestry to have a job in a small Saskatchewan town as a doctor.  That’s why the two main characters of Ravenport are both black, both female.

Yeah, but why do you have to make things gay?

If you mean “make things gay” by having a gay (or in this case, lesbian) character, again, sexual orientation is a fact.  There are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and so on people who live in this world and hold down jobs.  So yes, I made Chelsea Morgan, a.k.a. the Bowhuntress (pictured above) as a lesbian woman.  If you pay attention to the media and what politicians are doing throughout the United States (or trying to do with very oppressive voter ID laws, abortion bans and the like) then you could almost say Chelsea is triple cursed.  She’s a young, black woman, who is a lesbian.  Right now being black, being a woman and being gay are huge things that extreme right wing politicians hate.

So, it’s a SJW thing?

No, as I said before, it isn’t about social justice.  It’s about representation.  African American representation in media is sorely lacking.  So is LGBTQ representation.  So is First Nation representation.  And on, and on, and on.  Most of the comic books, television shows, video games, movies and books have white people as either the protagonist, or play the white knight who helps the poor brown people.  Ravenport is about people first and foremost, superheroes secondly, but it ultimately is about the lives, careers, friends and family of Yolanda Morgan and Chelsea Morgan.  Both of whom happen to be black women.

Yeah, but you’re a white dude.  Why can you think you can write something like this?

First, I’m pretty positive I’m not an expert on what it’s like to be a black woman.  But, I do have a creative imagination, and I do this thing called research.  Talk to people (like, surprisingly, black women), learn their stories, and above all, listen to them.  Each person has a different experience, each person has a unique way of looking at things, and we (meaning the rest of us) have to shut up and listen sometimes.

There’s another reason why I’ve decided to make this.  Yes, I’m a white dude.  You can put a picture of me beside freshly fallen snow and you won’t be able to tell the difference.  I come from a place of privilege.  And in this case, I’m going to use my privilege to try and increase representation.  This is where privilege can be used positively.  But you still have to be careful, take care in the writing, and be true to the characters.  Don’t slap stereotypes into place just because it seems cool.

Yeah, but both your characters are geniuses.  Isn’t that really kind of like a Mary Sue?  Aren’t black people not known for being like that?

First, I think you’ve got the wrong description of what a Mary Sue is.  Second, remember what I said about stereotypes?  If you pay attention to news feeds (and I mean all news feeds) you’ll find a great number of women of colour are doing incredible things academically.  So it’s not so far off the track that two women graduated high school at 15 or 16, went onto college and university and obtained Masters Degrees in their fields by 21 and 22.  That stuff happens, and is happening right now.

It’s still not very realistic to have a single mother get a Masters while taking care of a child.

Let me answer that question with a question; you’re questioning the realism of whether or not Yolanda Morgan can be a single mother, do extremely well in college, get a good job with a police department, but you’re okay with the fact she’s a voodoo priestess and can cast magic spells?  That part you’re okay with?  And, the fact she dresses up in a patriotic uniform, and hunts down criminals late at night.  Magic, and superhero ability, totally okay.  Single mother genius, totally unrealistic.  Is that it?

Why not place the story in a real city like New York or Boston?

I thought about that for a time, and while I think it would be cool for someone who may be reading this who might live in Bangor or Portland, Maine to go “hey, I know that place” this also produces a problem.  I don’t know that place.  It’s easier to make up a city, therefore you have control of the city planning, so to speak.  And I know it’s easy now to use Google maps to look up a place like Chicago or Boston for street names and addresses, but you don’t get the vibe or the feel of the place.  Taking you’re own experiences, you can insert a feel to an area of a made up city.  Which is what I did with Ravenport.  There’s areas that feel like Saskatoon, some that feel like Winnipeg, others that feel like Vancouver (all places I have been to, visited, or lived in).

In the end, I want Ravenport to ultimately be a good story.  That’s what it’s all about.  I believe in the characters fully, I like them a great deal, and I want to see how much trouble I can put them in.

 

 

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February Writer’s Challenge


The writer’s challenge for the month is underway.  For today, I’ve already written 2500 words (which is 1500 more than what is called for during the February writer’s challenge).  The goal is 1000 words a day to create a 28,000 word story (29,000 during a leap year).  Here’s a quick synopsis of what I’m writing.

Ravenport, Maine is strange as it is.  A port city on the eastern sea board with a population of 250,000.  Rumour has it that Ravenport sits on what is called some of the most evil land in the world.  Such a thing can attract some strange things, things that seek power.  But it also can attract some people willing to fight against that.  Detective Yolanda Morgan and Asistant District Attorney Chelsea Morgan are two such people.  The sisters work within the law, but Yolanda has talents that help with her investigations.  Being a practiced voodoo priestess means she can gather evidence in rather unorthodox manners.  Together, Yolanda and Chelsea are known by other names, names that they keep secret.  When night falls, they take up the names of Free Spirit and the Bowhuntress, a pair of costumed vigilantes who are the self proclaimed protectors of Ravenport and her citizens.  With these guises, the pair can do things they couldn’t normally.  And now they have the beginnings of a serial murder that has ritualistic overtones.  Is someone killing off people with the hopes of gaining power?  What does this mean for the status quo in Ravenport?  And just how many people are on this hit list?

And now a short snippet of what I’ve written.

“Vic is still warm,” Carson explained. “Maybe an hour before we were called.” Carson sighed as he tossed aside his cigarette. “I was gonna take my wife out to dinner today.”

“It’s your anniversary,” Yolanda said with a smile. “It’s morning, Carson. You’ve still got time.”

“Yeah, but now I’m gonna have this mess on my mind,” he added. “Plus what we called you in for.”

“You’ve seen this before, Carson,” Yolanda said as they walked into the apartment and began climbing the stairs down to the basement suites. “This ain’t new for you.”

“It ain’t new, but it’s still unnerving.”

Both detectives entered the small apartment, a one bedroom facing the east. The walls were covered in posters depicting scenes of space, some from the Hubble telescope, others from science fiction novel covers that were blown up and framed. There was a small kitchenette beside the living room, a bedroom connected to the living room and a bathroom off of the bed room. The victim was laying spread eagle in the living room between the couch and the television. Yolanda took a look around the room, trying to figure out anything that might be out of place. Coffee table looked moved, pushed against one wall to make room for the victim. A pair of beer bottles sat on the coffee table. A jacket, possibly the victim’s, was neatly folded and laying on the couch.

There were three others in the apartment, all crime scene investigators. They’d closed the blinds on the windows to keep the light of the rising sun out. Hopefully they’d taken a close look at the window sills before doing that.

“Alright, everybody out,” Morgan said as she focused her attention on the victim’s body. “Except you, Mendez. And you, Carson.” Mendez was a slight, young man who was dusting the counter in the kitchen for prints, he looked up as Yolanda called out her order and made an audible gulping sound. As the other two crime scene investigators left the room, Carson closed the door.

Mendez walked up to Carson as Yolanda began muttering something as she stood at the feet of the body and whispered to him. “This isn’t standard protocol, is it?”

“No, it most certainly is not,” he said as he still watched Yolanda. Five years before, Yolanda had told Carson she was a voodoo priestess, and that sometimes she used her abilities to help solve the crimes that took place in Ravenport. She revealed this because she needed a person she could trust in order to do things like this. Most often, the spells she cast were simple ones, things that revealed something and pointed her in the right direction. But this, what she was doing now, this was pretty heavy.

“I know you guys told me that Detective Morgan is a witch…”

“Voodoo priestess,” Carson corrected.

“Yeah… but, what’s she doing?”

To answer Mendez’s question, the victim’s corpse began shaking and slightly writhing. Then it began coughing and it seemed to be filled with a light. Mendez just stared blankly, and it took Carson a bit to push him further into the room.

“What the …” the corpse seemed to sputter in a raspy voice. “Why the fuck am I on the floor?” He looked around, or at least as much as he could, then stared at Yolanda. “And who the fuck are you?”

“I’m Detective Morgan,” Yolanda explained as she crouched down, resting on her haunches. “That’s Detective Carson, and that’s Officer Mendez. He’s a crime scene investigator.”

 

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Science Fiction – Rocket Fox: Flight of the Nighthawk – Wattpad


Science Fiction – Rocket Fox: Flight of the Nighthawk – Wattpad.

vulpinaia001

Chapter Four is now available on Wattpad for reading.  Did you also know that this is the eve of another writing event?  Starting February 1st it’s the February Writer’s Challenge.  1000 words per day.  28,000 words in total for the month.  That’s an attainable goal.

The February Writer’s Challenge, at least when I was introduced to it, was something that Zombie Chronicles author James Melzer had announced.  Sort of a motivator to get writing.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in The Barrow's Revenge, Writing

 

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Rocket Fox: Part Twenty Eight


Librarian Sor’Tah stood at the very edge of the tarmac as the shuttle landed, a rather unimpressed look on his face. His long robes hung neatly over his massive frame, in one three fingered hand he held onto a large tome, the other clutched his robes with care. Sor’Tah’s eyes never left the shuttle as the occupants began filtering out. He never showed any excitement or surprise, though deep down he was thrilled to be meeting Vulpine. This was his first time meeting the smaller race of beings that had been touted as friends of the Critainian people. Sor’Tah had never been off planet before, his duties to the Library kept him quite busy.

He watched as Jor’Tal assisted the three pilots, and marvelled at how different they appeared, even though they had the same features. The one he felt that was the commanding officer had brilliant, orange fur with white markings covering her, and he could only assume that was the case even under her uniform and armour. She was shorter than the other two, one of which was a softer orange colour than the first. The final one had similar white markings, but his fur was mostly black. Each of them had similar tails, a white tip that made up something brilliant to behold.

As they approached, he steadied himself, preparing to make the usual greeting. With an outstretched hand, he looked to the four that approached and called out in a proud voice. “Welcome to the Great Library. Our knowledge is your knowledge. I only wish this could have been under more pleasant circumstances. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Head Librarian Sor’Tah.” He motioned to a pair of Critainians that stood slightly behind him, their robes ornate, but not nearly as much as Sor’Tah’s. “This is Jen’Tauk, she is head of the library’s inventory. And Tor’Val, associate head of new stock.”

“Greetings, Sor’Tah,” Jor’Tal announced as she stepped forward. “This is Left-tenant Senia Felix, and Corporals Clarfax Billings and Hardy Maynard,” she said as she motioned toward the Vulpine, pointing out each one as he announced their names.

“I am most honoured to meet you,” Sor’Tah announced as he stepped forward and faced the three. “I do hope you will be able to assist us in this matter. I apologize if we have not presented any tea for your arrival.”

“That ith quite alright,” Senia announced with a nod. “Well patht tea time ath it ith,” she added and looked to her comrades with a small smile. “Bethideth, we’ve had more than enough with the hothpitality on board the orbital thtation.”

“In that case, please follow us to the main faculty,” Sor’Tah stated with a slight bow and motioned down one of the long streets. “Jor’Tal, I believe that is all we require of your attention. Thank you for bringing the Vulpine to us.”

“Actually,” Senia stated as she stepped forward. “I believe it would be in our betht interet’th if Jor’Tal came with uth.” She saw the confused look on Sor’Tah’s face and continued quickly. “We aren’t fully verthed in Critainian law and authority, tho having her with uth would be a great benefit.” She looked up to Jor’Tal, who seemed to be giving Senia an impressed look. It was obvious that she had diplomatic skills.

Sor’Tah on the other hand was caught off guard, but quickly found his voice. “Ah, yes. I can see how that would help a great deal. Yes. Well, if you would all follow me.” Again, he held out his arms in the direction down the street, bowing slightly as he motioned for the four to walk with them.

The buildings were an architect’s dream. Ornate, well constructed, and evenly spaced down the entire street. The buildings had a few variations in colour, but many were trimmed in gold. Why anyone would wish to adorn their buildings in gold was another thing, it was a useless metal for the most part, had no monetary value, and only those who created computer circuits found any practical use for it. Each of the buildings had large windows, some were open revealing shops and other services, while some others had blinds in front which could only mean they were homes. Possibly the dwellings of those who worked at the library. This place was more than just a library, after all. It was a small city.

After what seemed like a kilometre, the small group finally approached the steps of the main faculty, itself an incredible structure. Jen’Tauk took out a key and unlocked the main doors, as each Vulpine took a mental note of what they were doing as they entered, sometimes asking a quick question about the actions. They learned the main faculty was always locked, and only five Critainians had a key to enter. Unlike many of the other buildings Senia had seen, the doors to this building were opened with a very old fashioned key, not with a key card as most others had.

“This is the main faculty,” Sor’Tah announced as they walked inside. When they were all in, Jem’Tauk closed and locked the doors. Inside, there was the smell of books, many that seemed like they were over one thousand years old. Most were in a series of stacks, with some Critainians alreayd cataloguing them to be placed in their respective areas of the main library itself. Others were sitting in neat piles on a series of long tables, obviously waiting to be itemized and put away before being catalogued. Some of the books had spilled over onto the floor, one of which Clarfax nearly stepped on.

“Oh,” he called out as he picked it up. “Looks like this one was trying to get away,” he said with a chuckle. He held it up to one of the organizers, taking note of the bold lettering and bright colour of the font against the black background which stated for all to see ‘Don’t Panic’.

“Um, Vulpine humour, if I recall,” one of the organizers said as she came around the table and gently took the book from Clarfax’s outstretched hand. She made the comment to ease the questions the others might have about what Clarfax meant. “Like, this book was going to grow legs and run away.”

“Exactly,” Clarfax replied with a nod.

“I’ve been studying some of the Vulpine texts that we get in,” the Librarian said with a smile, then turned to one of the others. “Put this in the galactic reference section. We can’t lose this one.” He handed the book to one of his companions and turned back to Clarfax to offer his thanks, only to find the Vulpine, and his two companions, extending three books out to him. “Oh my, what’s this.”

“Ath ith cuthtomary for anyone who would vithit the Great Library,” Senia said as she handed him the book. “It ith well known that a book mutht be prethented. I hope that each of thethe can find a plathe in the library.”

The librarian took each book and looked them over carefully, naming off each title as he inspected it. “History of Chattingham Airfield. Oh, this would do well in the Vulpine historical section,” he said with a smile as he handed the book to one of his assistants. “The Expanding Universe: Theories and Discoveries in Quantum Mechanics. Oh my, yes. Written by Colonel Nelson deGrase. I’ve been so hoping to acquire a copy of one of his books.”

“He was my physics professor at the military college,” Clarfax said with a beaming smile, obvious he was proud that one of the most renowned Felanus professors was his teacher at one point in his life.

“Oh, that must have been an honour to speak with him, and even learn from him,” the librarian said before handing the book to another assistant. “In the scientific section, physics subsection, if you please. Now, what have we here,” he said turning his attention to the last book. “The Mark Ten Maverick: Designs of the Vulpine Air Corps Flagship. Oh my, I never knew they had released this.”

“The Mark Ten’s are to be decommissioned,” Hardy said with a nod. “They’re making way for the new Nighthawk. And let me tell you, that bird is light years ahead of the Maverick class.”

“Oh excellent,” the librarian chuckled and handed the book to the third assistant. “The aeronautics section, if you would.” He turned back to the three Vulpine and smiled. “I can’t wait until the book for the Nighthawk comes to reside here as well.”

“I’ll let you know when I finish writing it,” Hardy said with a chuckle.

“Now with our gift’th out of the way,” Senia said as she turned her attention back to Sor’Tah. “Perhapth we can get down to the matter at hand.”

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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in The Barrow's Revenge, Writing

 

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Rocket Fox: Part Twenty Seven


Gear had been gathered, preparations made, and the three were ready to depart from the orbital space station to the surface of Critainia. However, instead of flying down with the Nighthawk, they received a message from the planet’s constabulary. Constable Jor’Tal would be the one to transport them personally and would be waiting for them at the departure platform for small vessels.

Small vessels and Critainian are two things that often don’t mean the same thing, at least from Vulpine standards. Jor’Tal’s shuttle was about as big as the Nighthawk. Still, for something so large, it still looked sleek and very space worthy, a tribute to Critainian engineering and design. As they three made their way onto the departure platform, Jor’Tal could sense them and turned to greet them. He, or rather she as indicated by the blue arm band, stood a good height, close to three meters tall. A veteran, by the look, she had one horn at the top of her head crest chipped off, the indication that she partook in a ground battle at one time. Critainians were fond of battle scars, and would often display such things with pride. The other horn was ornately decorated with carvings, some of them with Critainian glyphs describing the battle she lost her horn in.

“Left-tenant,” she called out with a stiff salute. Her voice was quite gruff compared to other Critainian females they had run into before. “Corporals,” she added. “I’ll be taking you directly to the surface. We can discuss the situation in greater detail on the way.”

“Of courthe,” Senia replied with a nod, though didn’t understand what exactly needed to be discussed further, all information had been given to them, including suspicions. What more could there be?

“Right this way,” she said as she opened the hatch to the shuttle. She took note that the three had given a glance or two toward her arm band. “And before you ask, I go through a gender shift in two weeks. Just getting used to the arm band right now.” The three nodded and entered the craft, no need for further explanation at all. As they settled in, Jor’Tal climbed into the pilot’s seat, making sure she didn’t inadvertently step on the feet of the Vulpine. The shuttle’s hatch closed, she began the main launch sequence. The engines whined to life, then they felt the ship slowly take flight toward the planet’s surface. “You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t have tea ready on the trip down. I felt you’d rather get ready for the investigation,” she said as she steered the craft through some minor traffic, then straight on to the planet. “Besides, I think by now you’ve probably had your fill.”

“Tea in the harbour master’s office, tea in the living quarters,” Hardy said with a sigh. “I spent so much time going over some of the Library’s schematics, my last cup got cold.”

“Impressive structure, isn’t it,” Jor’Tal said as she took a glance back to the Vulpine. “But wait’ll you see it from the air. That’s the most impressive.”

“I’m thurprithed the diagramth don’t include the hidden bunkerth,” Senia commented. “After one hundred yearth, it might be thomething to put in plathe.”

“There are a few that had suggested doing that,” Jor’Tal explained as she tapped the controls. The craft changed attitude slightly. “Hang on, we’re hitting atmosphere.” The shuttle bounced just a bit as the ship made her way back into the atmosphere of the planet, then adjusted to compensate. “As I was saying, the Ministry shot the idea down after the Raptory settled on a southern continent of the planet. There are still many in Tri-Horn society that believe the Raptory would like nothing better than attack us.” Tri-Horn, an old phrase to describe the Critainians. One they hadn’t used in over a thousand years since settling on the third planet of the Lupine Star System.

“Still, it’s possible that someone in authority, maybe even military, might have a secondary schematic prepared,” Clarfax added, thinking maybe there was some map to these underground bunkers.

“Don’t forget,” Jor’Tal said with a slight chuckle. “We Tri-Horns have hereditary memories, most of the pathways are locked in memory. I know that place like the back of my hand, even though I’ve never set foot inside of them.” She looked back to the Vulpine and nodded. “You may want to come up here and see this.”

The three left their seats and moved to the front of the shuttle, looking out through the windshield. There before them was the Great Library, bigger than the largest city on Vulpinia, with structures any architectural master would dream of seeing. Eight main structures, leading out from a central amphitheatre, smaller buildings spread here and there between the larger structures. Where the eight main group of structures met the outer edge of the amphitheatre, there were eight towers, measuring at least fifty meters and reaching as tall as seventy five meters.

“The thchematic doeth not do thith plathe juthtithe,” Senia said in a hushed voice, amazed by the layout of the entire thing.

“I told you,” Jor’Tal said with a smile, then flipped a few switches on her craft’s communications console. “This is Constabulary Shuttle 005, Constable Jor’Tal at the helm. Requesting permission to land.”

“Permission granted,” a voice called back over the comm. “Librarian Sor’Tah will be meeting you on the main tarmac. Air traffic control out.”

“Thank you, Air traffic control. Constable Jor’Tal out,” she replied, then sighed as she cut off the communications link. “It had to be Sor’Tah.”

“Problem?” Senia asked as she settled back into her seat to prepare for landing.

“Sor’Tah is a stickler for duty, tradition and protocol,” she explained. “This may hamper the investigation, especially if he’s being assigned to assist you while in the Library proper. But if I recall, the evidence found is just outside his jurisdiction. We might catch a break there.” She checked her navigation and eased the decent of the craft. The engine began to slow down slightly as they prepared to land. “Get ready. We’re about to enter the ancient Library City. Welcome to the Great Library.”

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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in The Barrow's Revenge, Writing

 

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