The First Day of Hanukkah


My hanukkiah and its bling.

Okay, we’re going to pretend that I didn’t nap through sunset and today is still the first day of Hanukkah. (Have I mentioned lately how much I hate doing anything on dial-up internet?)

So here’s your gift:

Use coupon code EF45L at Smashwords to get a FREE copy of The Last Golden Dragon.

(Coupon good through the end of Hanukkah (December 16th).)

Don’t have an e-reader? You can still read it on your computer in .pdf or HTML format. (And, who knows–you may get one for Christmas.)

Vacation Cometh

Me looking haughty in my handmade 14th century English garb. (It's the hair; I'm very vain of it.)

Vacations sure are a lot of work to plan, pack, travel, enjoy, travel, and unpack. To say nothing of catching up work upon your return and cleaning the house that you destroyed while packing.

Regardless, I am about to go on vacation to the middle ages. Every year, my husband and I go to southern Mississippi for a week and camp in our period tent and do various medieval activities. I’m teaching 4 different classes (and one I’m teaching twice), plus I will take take classes. I will also volunteer to do some illumination (we give handmade illuminations to people as a reward). Most of the men (and some women) will spend time fighting.

In most years, attendance is around 3,000-3,500. The economy makes it hard for some people to go, but this year it happens to coincide with most school’s spring breaks, so people with children who do not normally get to go will be there. So we should meet our average, if not a bit better.

So, since I’m going to be gone next week, there will be no episode of Bloodsuckers released. However, I do have a treat for my regular readers. If you go to Amazon on Saturday, March 17 (yes, St. Patrick’s Day), you can download a copy of my short story, The Last Golden Dragon, for FREE. I’m doing this in honor of Ireland–my spiritual home and the place where I conceived of and wrote the story.

This lovely picture–which is now paired with my story–was done by Oakendragon, whom I found on DeviantArt. She very graciously gave me permission to use it royalty-free, so it’s now on Amazon as my “book” cover.

I chose her picture because it’s close to what I envisioned my dragon looking like, plus he’s smiling and rather benign-looking. It’s actually rather hard to find a dragon which is more kindly than fearsome.

Looking through her art–and some of the other art on DeviantArt–makes me wonder about starting with a picture and coming up with a story based on it. That might be an experiment I’ll try after vacation.

In fact, let’s make that today’s writing exercise. Go on DeviantArt and find a picture that appeals to you. Then write a short story inspired by it (it’s okay if your story ends up looking nothing like the picture; creativity can evolve in some weird directions sometimes).