Wednesday, September 5, 2007

No rules, just fun...

Yesterday I talked about world building. There is an important facet of world building that I left out. That is the laws or rules. Without rules you have chaos. All of us know that's the way it works in our everyday world. Its also true for the fantasy world the author creates. There are rules. The author decides what is allowed and what isn't. And once the decisions are made, then the author must stick to the rules.

When there are no rules... well, when there are no rules, you end up with something like our blog saga. Basically, we have two rules. No foul language and no blatant sex. That's because this is a public blog. Other than that, almost anything goes. Our universe is a place where a peeler can accomplish almost anything... where zucchinis explode and multiply... where Emmeline has glowing green laser eyes and Shade and Rafe can't seem to die. Its a place of multiple dimensions, dreams, tv shows, and nymphomaniac Queens. Every day people tune in to find out what new off the wall thing we've dreamed up, but the truth is that the blog is short. No one would want to read an entire book like this. Not even to find out what's in the purple box.

If you didn't read yesterday's episode, I truly recommend that you go to Amarinda's blog at and zip through it before you read mine. And then tomorrow of course, make sure you read Kelly's take on it at and in the meantime you might want to catch the second half of her interview with the smoldering Lord Marcus. Yummmy. Always did love those lordly regency types.

Now that you've caught up with Emmeline, Louella, and the rest, here's what happens next:

Before she had time to answer, Jonas and Sam appeared behind her in a cloud of purple smoke. “Give me the box, Louella,” Jonas demanded advancing on her with determination in his eyes.

Emmeline stepped between Louella and the men, waving her peeler menacingly. “Back away! How dare you approach a woman!”

Jonas sneered at her peeler. “What the hell is that? A kitchen gadget? You’re threatening me with a kitchen gadget?” He threw his head back and howled with laughter.

Sam edged away, shifting so that he was behind Louella. His mama hadn’t raised any stupid boy children. The warrior woman looked quite capable of wiping the forest floor with Jonas and having enough energy left over to take on the rest of the Brotherhood.

Abruptly, Jonas leaned forward and snatched at the peeler. There was a stinky sizzle and a puff of black smoke and then he was gone. All that was left was two steaming sneakers. Sam regarded the warrior woman and her kitchen gadget with utmost respect.

Emmeline glared at him for a moment as though trying to decide if he was dangerous. Then she nodded curtly and motioned for them to follow her. “I see you’ve been raised properly,” she said to Sam. “Always follow three steps behind a woman.”

Sam bobbed his head in agreement. He was determined to stay with Louella as long as she had the purple box, no matter what he had to do. No matter what.

So what will happen next? Will the purple box explode? Will Sam forget to walk three steps behind Louella? Tune in to Kelly's blog tomorrow to find out!


And now, a demonstration of the rules from Traveller's Refuge. In this scene, Wrenna's younger brothers have taken something that doesn't belong to them. Justice must be served especially in the valley where all boys are raised to be warriors with a strict code of ethics. Theft is against that code of ethics.

In the kitchen, Arturo was refereeing a three way conversation between Llynx, Panther and their teacher, Samara McCrory. “The boys brought this item to their calligraphy class with them,” she was explaining to Arturo. “I don’t believe it belongs to them but whether it does or not, it definitely doesn’t belong in my classroom.”

Arturo picked up the object and studied it intently. “It’s a photograph. I recognize Dancer and Traveller.” He shot a stern glance at the boys and inhaled sharply. “It definitely doesn’t belong to either one of you. Where did you get it?”

Panther stared down at his tightly clenched fists resting on the table and remained mute. Llynx scowled mutinously at Samara and muttered, “We found it.”

Undeterred Arturo questioned, “Where did you find it?”


Unknown to the boys, Bishop and Wrenna had been observing the scene from the hallway. Bishop decided to take part in their discussion. “Around—perhaps that would be around Trav’s belongings in our room?”

Vigorously, Llynx shook his head, sending his shiny black braids clinking. “No-oo.” He exchanged looks with Panther and then dropped his head so that the others couldn’t see his face.”

“Let us be clear about this,” Arturo said crisply. “Anytime you lie to get out of trouble, that is worse that the thing you did to get into trouble. Is that not what Mama and Papa have said before?”

Panther ducked his bright auburn head and nodded. “Yeah.”

“So. Where did you get Traveller’s photograph?”

“In Traveller’s pack,” Panther muttered, close to tears.

Bishop pursed his lips in thought. “When you take something that doesn’t belong to you that is theft. What is the penalty for theft here in the valley?” he inquired idly.

The other adults stared at each other in dismay before Samara said quietly, “The judgment seat.”

Now openly crying, both boys jumped from their seats and rushed to Arturo, burrowing against him. “No! Don’t let them take us!” they wailed in genuine fear.

Bishop was astonished. “What’s going on? What is this judgment seat?”

Wrenna shook her head. “When an individual commits a crime, they are bound and taken to the peak of Needle Rock and left there. It is the Judgment Seat. The Valley judges their guilt or innocence. If innocent, their bindings are dissolved and they go free and exonerated. If guilty, they are consumed in a flash of fire. That is not an appropriate punishment for a child.”

“No, of course not!” he declared, appalled at the very idea.

“There must be punishment, however,” Arturo said firmly. Guiding the boys back to their seats with a little nudge on their shoulders, he directed them to sit. “Now! Enough of the caterwauling. Certainly, you will not be taken to the judgment seat but you must make restitution.”

Panther and Llynx scrubbed the tears from their faces with grubby hands and hiccupped.

“Okay,” Panther whispered miserably while Llynx nodded agreement.

“This is my judgment,” Arturo announced. “As your morkert I pronounce this judgment.” His formal tones were solemn and weighty. “You will surrender your chinkas for a period of two eight-days and wear your hair unbound that all may know of your punishment for lying. You will not attend the Mid-Summer Gathering but will sit in the doorway of Wrenna’s pottery so that all may see you and know of your punishment for theft. This is my judgment. Do you stand as witness, Bishop?”

“I stand as witness,” Bishop agreed gravely.

Arturo held out his hand and the boys reluctantly pulled the chinkas from their braids, one by one. Wrenna brought a clear bowl from the cupboard and Arturo deposited the carved white chinkas with a sound that reminded Bishop of glass pebbles. Silently, Arturo waited as they loosened the tight braids and completely unbound their hair. Then he quirked a dark eyebrow and said, “I think I hear your room calling you.” Both boys scrambled from their seats and rushed down the hallway to their room.

When they were gone, Bishop sighed and shakily found a seat. “Okay. Now I have a few questions.”

If you would like to know more check out Traveller's Refuge at


  1. I love the bit where Jonas is dumb enough to ridicule the power of the peeler. Silly man. I did not read the excerpt for I am going to read Traveller's Refuge soon. I want to hints or clues.I want to sit and savour it all without pre-warning

  2. I've read both and highly recommend them. Anny you do a really wonderful job making this world believable down to the details.

    If you out there haven't read it, you're missing something spectacular. It's like adult Piers Anthony crossed with uh, well, no one. Unique and so much fun.