Thursday, December 24, 2020

I haven't had much time for doodling lately, but last night I decided to give it an effort! Here's some Earthkeepers sketches!

First, Yonwin! He was super fun to write. He sometimes goes by the nickname "Yon", but Fraa often calls him "Yonnie", much to his embarrassment as that was his nickname when he was little. But you know aunts, you'll always be their little niece/nephew to them. :)

Miette and Kieri couldn't be bigger opposites, but that's what makes them such great friends. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Email newsletter!

I've finally gotten around to starting an email newsletter for my authorly deeds, including but not limited to books!

I promise I will not give your email away to anybody and my newsletters will not be obnoxious. They will probably come out every month or so, and will be fairly simple updates on books I'm working on and other projects and events related to them.

If you enjoy getting email newsletters from your favorite authors, this is a great way to stay in touch with what I'm doing!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Which Earthkeepers character are you?

I hadn't done a personality quiz in a while, and thought it would be fun to see how people match up with the main characters from my upcoming novel!

Keep track of the letters of all of your answers, and tally them up at the end. The letter you got the most is which character resembles you most!

(If you have multiple answers for a question, that's totally okay! It means you're a blend of multiple characters and not very much like any one in particular.)

At a party, what are you most likely to be doing?

A. What party? I'm at home, reading.
B. Making friends with everyone.
C. Hosting.
D. Trying to socialize but feeling awkward.
E. Being in charge of the music.
F. Learning interesting things about people as I converse with them.

Do you like sports?

A. I find them interesting from an analytical and strategic viewpoint... but I'm terrible at actually playing.
B. Yes, I think sports are super fun!
C. Yes, sports are great exercise and a good way for me to challenge myself.
D. I enjoy sports. I may be a little shy, but I like being a team player and using my talents to contribute.
E. I'm not super interested in getting out there and actually playing. Coaching is more my thing.
F. I would not count sports as one of my hobbies.

What wouldn't you do for a friend?

A. Break rules.
B. Be mean to someone else.
C. Anything that's obviously a bad idea, whether or not a friend is involved.
D. Public speaking.
E. Lose who I am.
F. I'm not sure. I care so deeply about my friends that it's hard to imagine putting anything above them.

Which career sounds the most appealing to you?

A. Field researcher
B. Tour guide
C. Teacher
D. Professional athlete
E. Musician
F. Politician

What are your peers most likely to describe you as?

A. Intelligent
B. Friendly
C. Parental
D. Sweet
E. Quirky
F. Adventuresome

Which pet would you want most (or already have)?

A. Pets sound like too much trouble. Maybe a robot?
B. A super friendly dog
C. A horse
D. A cat
E. A bird
F. A racecar (do those count as pets?)

Which of these sounds like the most appealing place to live?

A. A sophisticated city with lots to do.
B. A countryside with lots of room to romp around.
C. Somewhere private and quiet where I can relax after a hard day's work.
D. Wherever my friends and family are.
E. Someplace really unique with lots of character.
F. An RV on an endless road trip.

In a roleplaying game, which job class would you most likely take for your character?

A. Wizard
B. Rogue
C. Paladin
D. Knight
E. Bard
F. Ranger

How would you sum up your fashion sense?

A. Classy and put-together.
B. What fashion sense?
C. Unique and eye-catching.
D. Sturdy and functional.
E. Comfortable and casual.
F. Decked out for an adventure!

What do you like doing when you go on vacation?

A. Visiting sites of historic or cultural interest to learn something new.
B. Having as much fun as possible.
C. Showing my friends around places I've already been.
D. Just going along for the ride and soaking it all in.
E. Checking out the local music scene.
F. Exploring everywhere.


Mostly A's

You are most like Miette, the main character of Earthkeepers! You are likely super smart and a little bit of a worrywart. While not the most sociable person, you appreciate the close friends you do have, as they help ground you when you get lost in your own head.

Mostly B's

You are like Kieri, Miette's BFF! You are outgoing and chipper and can make friends with just about anyone. People love you for these qualities, but you may also have a mischievous streak and aren't afraid to bend rules to get what you want.

Mostly C's

You are most like Fraa Stormcleaver, Miette's and Kieri's surrogate aunt! Responsible, hard-working, and warm, you are a powerful presence in the lives of your family and friends, who may look to you for guidance and advice. However, you also know how to have fun when the time is right.

Mostly D's

You most resemble Yonwin, Fraa's young nephew! You may feel shy and unsure of yourself at times, but you have inner strengths that make you a huge contributor to a cause. You dream big and have the ability to make those dreams come true, so long as you believe in yourself.

Mostly F's

You are like Eltas, the mysterious street musician! Your independence and free spirit is very important to you, and you hate people telling you what to do. You love creativity and the arts, and also have surprisingly good leadership skills when called upon.

Mostly E's

You are most like Zuben Elgenubi, the famed Graling folk hero! You are daring and driven, mostly by a love of adventure and expanding yours and others' horizons. Always on the go, always with at least one project in the works, you are a powerhouse of innovation and progress.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

I was chatting with my art pupil the other night, and we were doodling, and I ended up doing a bit of concept art for Earthkeepers

This is one of the main characters, Apparat Drone Model 473 Alloy, a.k.a. "Zuben". He's a friendly, energetic little fellow who enjoys perching on shoulders and exploring the world around him. Miette and her friends found him lying defunct in a secret passageway, and Yonwin restored him to working condition.

But why does Zuben have the same name as the Graling folk hero Zuben Elgenubi? And where does he come from? The answers will change Miette's world forever.

I'm not super great at mechanical design, but I actually got Zuben's design from a dream I had once about this little arthropod creature. When I started brainstorming about Earthkeepers and Zuben, I just couldn't picture him with anything but that creature's design in mechanical form. I use arthropods for mechanical design inspiration a lot because their exoskeletons remind me of metal plating. :)

Those red feather things are aether collecting vanes. Zuben uses them to collect aether from charging streams, as he and the other Apparats run on aether.

Also he speaks Old Gralish, an ancient form of the Graling language, which is represented in the book by Shakespearian English. When the idea first popped into my head, I wasn't sure how well it would work, but as I kept writing it, I liked it more and more. :)

I'm working on some revisions to the manuscript, and I hope to have it ready to send to the editor by the end of the week!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Update bits and bobs

I've been super busy lately, but things have finally quieted down enough that I could put together a coherent update on various projects! Here's what's going on:

- Last week I finished the first draft of Earthkeepers! I am so relieved and excited to move forward! I think it's looking really awesome and I'm looking forward to sharing it with readers. I think fans of Skydwellers will love Earthkeepers, and people who have never read the first book will be able to enjoy Earthkeepers as a standalone science fantasy adventure.

My next step is to go through the manuscript with a fine-toothed editorial comb and make it look as good as possible before I send it to a story editor. Already I have a list of things I'd like to change about earlier parts of the manuscript based on stuff that came up later on in writing, so during this process I will also incorporate these changes. Honestly I don't think it will take me that long, and I should have it ready for the editor by the end of the week. It's coming along!

- Production for the audiobook adaptation of Thunder Girl is projected to start in February! Benjamin Fife and I are super excited to bring this project to you, and we're hoping it can help introduce a whole new demographic of story lovers to the fun and nerdy world of Thunder Girl. I will keep you updated!

- It's looking like Pixeldust will be getting a blog tour March 8-12! I think this will be a great opportunity for Pixeldust as it will be introduced to relevant book bloggers and their followers. The world of indie publishing is based a lot on convincing people that your book is worth reading, and getting it out there and getting (hopefully favorable) opinions helps readers become informed! 

During the blog tour, Pixeldust will be featured on different book blogs every day of the tour, through content like reviews, excerpts, and author interviews. I will definitely share each of these tour stops as they happen! Right now I'm thinking I will share each tour post daily on my Facebook page, and then after the tour, compile the list of posts here on my blog. I think it will be a very exciting boost for a novel that I worked hard on earlier this year, but released to little fanfare (despite my advertising attempts).

As for what I'll be doing while Earthkeepers is at the editor's? I keep telling myself I'll take a break, but I tried that for about ten minutes and then got bored. So I'll probably do some illustration work, try to watch and work from some art tutorials, and probably put more Neopets fanfic on the blog!

I hope everybody has a lovely holiday season! Take care!

Friday, December 4, 2020

Thunder Girl audiobook!

I'm very happy and excited to announce that Thunder Girl is getting an audiobook adaptation!

I'm partnering with audiobook narrator Benjamin Fife to make the quirky, paleontology-laced alternate history world of Thunder Girl come to life! 

I'm so thrilled to have Benjamin on board, as he actually knows how to do accents and I do not, except when I'm pretending to be British which is more often than I should admit. (Mostly when I'm talking to the TV while watching back episodes of The Sky at Night.) Other authors praise his work, I myself like his work, and he just seems like a great person who likes to help the indie authors he partners with. 

I'm looking forward to working with him, and I hope this is just the first of many adaptations we can produce to help bring my work to a new audience.

Tentatively we are looking at a release date of sometime in Q2 2021. I will keep you guys updated!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

So I just sent this email to's editorial team, and, well, I felt like it was so important that I wanted to share it here. It's an example of where I feel someone's writing went wrong, and it's also an issue I feel so strongly about that I would like to share my opinions on the matter. 

I don't know if they'll ever reply, or if they'll just read this and laugh. But I felt I would be remiss if I didn't alert them to the fact that hey, I don't like how they're doing things right now and I don't think it's good for other people either.

TL;DR: News doesn't have to be depressing, guys. And being realistic actually means having a healthy dose of optimism.


I am a lifelong astronomy enthusiast who enjoys keeping up with the latest news on all things space-related. For a while now, I have gotten my space news from Astronomy Magazine as I find it to be reliable, informative, and interesting.

However, sometimes I am bothered by the negative, almost pessimistic tone of some of your news articles, in which I feel that the downsides or potential negative effects and implications of an event or idea are given undue emphasis, with little or no regard to positive facts or the potential for desirable outcomes.

A good example of this is the article you ran on the collapse of the Arecibo radio telescope. I found the article to be very informative as to the details of the collapse, but then it began delving too far into negative thinking for my liking.

"Too little, too late" is the phrase used to describe what the author seems to perceive as an ignorant blunder on the part of the NSF with regards to the timing of the decommissioning process. For a project of this magnitude to be carried out correctly and safely takes a lot of planning and engineering. I think it is reasonable to assume that the NSF was doing all it could to put together a plan to dismantle the telescope swiftly but safely. The platform collapse happened mere weeks after the prior cable break, which is not much time at all when dealing with an engineering issue of this magnitude.

And no attention, save a brief note, was paid to the fact that, due to the NSF's sound judgment in not attempting repairs and evacuating personnel after the cable break, no one was injured in the platform collapse. Telescopes are replaceable, but the real tragedy here would have been a loss of human life. Because of the NSF's foresight, that tragedy was averted and they should be lauded for it.

I appreciated the mention of the hashtag #WhatAreciboMeansToMe, and it is wonderful to see the astronomical community fondly remembering Arecibo, but then the article again took a turn for the negative as it quoted individuals with very pessimistic outlooks. While I understand that many are grieving the telescope's loss and need time to process their emotions, I do not appreciate that some people's emotional reactions seem to be taken as fact by the article writer, and again they were not balanced by quotes from individuals with more hopeful and resilient outlooks.

We do not know what the future holds. I firmly believe Rosario-Franco can have opportunities to work in radio astronomy in Puerto Rico if those opportunities are made available, and there is no good reason to close the door on that. She may very well be the person to spearhead such valiant efforts, if she does not allow herself to lapse into defeatist depression, but moves past this loss to see the potential of future achievements.

And perhaps the demise of Arecibo was a timely wakeup call to the federal government to pay more attention to science and education in Puerto Rico, and that has the potential to bring about wonderful change. I believe true societal progress is made when we focus less on a non-optimal current situation and focus more on the goals we want to achieve. Sitting around and complaining about current states of funding does not do much but make destructive, reactive anger and bitterness fester in oneself and others. Becoming solution-oriented, and having a willingness to forgive and move on from the mistakes of the past, is what will bring true solutions.

Overall the tone of this article struck me as hopeless, dour, and critical, and in my opinion that was wholly unnecessary. Especially in the face of everything our world is going through right now, there is no need to make readers feel that another absolute tragedy has happened, one which can never be recovered from and which also conveniently draws attention to contentious political issues, with no suggestion of solutions or the possibility that things might actually get better. Because they do. History has shown us time and time again that yes, bad things happen. But so do good things. And very often, good things come out of bad things and we would be wise to remember that.

I feel this was a grave misstep on the part of the editorial team, and I ask them to remember that in these trying times, we must all do our part to uplift and encourage each other. Writers have tremendous power over the mental state of their readers, and Astronomy Magazine does not need to slide into the sort of irrational gloom-and-doom negativity of so many other news outlets.

While I appreciate the factual quality of your articles, if their emotional tone continues to trend in this direction, I will have to seek my space news elsewhere, because I am tired of being bombarded by others' negative and despairing opinions. Space should be fun. Let's keep it that way.


T. K. Arispe

Also, if you wanted a writing update, I am getting very close to the last chapters of Earthkeepers! I am very excited. I also have some fun promotional stuff in the works, like a blog tour and quite possibly an audiobook! You can keep up with the news on that on my Facebook page.

And, if you want a sneak peek of the novel I'd like to work on next, here's a teaser: Giant robots. Space-time anomalies. Alien space pirates and lupine galactic invaders. Young adult on her way to a new job on the Moon gets thrown into all the craziness due to a space-warp quantum-entanglement mishap. Tentative title: Blue Diver, because the giant robot pilots are called Divers.

I don't even know, man. It's gonna be fun.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

NaNoWriMo update... kinda!

More accurately, I'm not doing it anymore! And you know what, I'm happy about that!

I'm going through a lot right now, and really the last thing I needed was to put even more pressure on myself doing something that takes a lot of work and stress even in a good month. I thought I could get away with being a workaholic, but today my health said otherwise, so I said "Okay, health, I'm sorry, let's sit and binge-watch The Sky at Night instead."

In all seriousness, please, nobody else push yourself too hard like that. Listen to your body's stress signals. 50,000 words in a month is not worth a health breakdown.

I will put all my cards on the table here--I actually have not been a big fan of NaNoWriMo. I know plenty of people love it, and I'm happy for them, but for me it's just too much pressure. I only did it two other times in my life. Once was in college because someone I knew wouldn't leave me alone about it. That is a very bad reason to do anything, FYI. That was an extremely stressful month of my life, because NaNo + college = NO. I am really surprised I made it through that month without any health issues, but I was young and thought I was invincible. 

The second time I did a NaNo was actually in July (a JulNo), and while it was still a lot of hard work, I didn't really have anything going on that month so it wasn't as stressful.

But this time around, no. Just no. Triple no. Putting another very stressful thing on my plate when I was already stressed out was stupid.

So I'm writing this blog post not only as a cautionary tale to you, good readers, but also to reassure myself that I will never do another NaNo as long as I live pinky promise. I love writing. It doesn't have to be stressful. I don't need to put pressure on myself or be even more of a workaholic than I already am. 

From now on, I work at my own pace. And I take care of myself.

Anyhow, don't worry, I am definitely going to keep working on the manuscript for Earthkeepers--when I feel up to it again! It's at 38,000 words right now and it's starting to get really exciting! You can take a look at my Facebook page for daily updates and teasers about where I am in the plot!

Take care, everybody! Take a load off and give yourself plenty of TLC! You deserve it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

My super awesome art pupil drew these pictures of Isengrim and Celice, and she said I could share them here on my blog!

This girl is really talented, and I feel so blessed to be her art teacher!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Just wanted to drop an update since it's been a while; I've just been so busy writing Earthkeepers! I want to meet my NaNoWriMo goal, so that means lots and lots of writing! Plus, y'know, life in general has kept me pretty busy.

I'm super excited to share Earthkeepers with everybody! I'm about 20,000 words in right now, and I'm just about to get to the critical plot twist. The characters have been super fun to write, from Miette's high-strung brilliancy to Yonwin's awkward teenage adorableness to Eltas's weird paranoid hippie ways. Revisiting these characters and this world, and developing new characters and world concepts, has been greatly enjoyable. I hope fans of Skydwellers will enjoy this new adventure featuring some of the best (in my opinion) characters from the first book.

I don't have much more to report than that, so I hope everybody has a lovely holiday season! Remember, things might be different this year, but there's always something to be grateful for and ways to enjoy the holidays! Take care!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 32

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 - Chapter 24 - Chapter 25 - Chapter 26 - Chapter 27 - Chapter 28
Chapter 29 - Chapter 30 - Chapter 31 - Chapter 32

True to Isengrim’s word, they feasted on the array of foods in his larder, and once the rest of the pack arrived it became a veritable festival. Werelupes sang newly-composed lays celebrating their clan’s valour in battle and the heroics of their king, his adoptive family, and Celice in saving the Werelupes’ home. Pharazon was given especial credit for defeating the treacherous Skoll, and the pack lauded his courage and strength.

Blynn, Hyren, and the Lupe sorceress were guests of honour, and Blynn and Hyren got to stay in Isengrim’s grotto, where the family laughed and chatted for what felt like hours every night before getting to sleep. For his part, Hyren never would have thought that sleeping on furs in a cave would be so comfy.

The snow did indeed turn into a blizzard, and they ended up staying for a fortnight, taking the time to rest and recuperate after all that had happened. Isengrim was a gracious host, and an enthusiastic sparring partner besides. Hardly a day went by that he and Hyren did not end up clashing blades—good-naturedly, this time around.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 31

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 - Chapter 24 - Chapter 25 - Chapter 26 - Chapter 27 - Chapter 28
Chapter 29 - Chapter 30 - Chapter 31 Chapter 32

An air mage who had a little energy left over from the casting that morning was kind enough to bestow a spell of swiftness on Gwyneth, and the group soon sped through the sky, the mountains fast approaching. The clouds were black and heavy with snow waiting to fall.

Looking down, Hyren watched the Werelupes returning to Brightvale, followed by the kingdom’s army. Meridell’s forces branched off to the south, most likely taking a farther pass back to their homeland, and the Darigan airborne escorted them overhead. It was strange, he thought, how little difference there really could be between enemy and ally—and how easy it could be to switch statuses. Just like what had happened with Isengrim.

No one said much on the trip, focused as they were on what lay ahead. Isengrim clung fiercely to Terra as though just the very act of holding on to her would somehow keep the curse from worsening. Hyren’s stomach seemed to want to see how many different knots it could tie itself into.

Below them, the phantoms continued to retreat into the hills like water getting sucked down a drain. Hyren could see their glow beneath the treetops as they flowed up ridges and down through ravines. Even with the spell, Gwyneth could not quite catch up with them, and trailed them all the way back to the Werelupe Graveyard.

The cemetery was a ruin of its former self. The trees, tombstones, and mausoleums had all been blasted away, leaving a stark crater in the middle of a debris-tangled forest. Thick clouds bunched overhead, crackling with green lightning. The air was so thick with a twisted, malevolent kind of magic that it made Hyren’s skin prickle and his companions’ fur stand on end.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Old Dutch Burying Ground

Happy Halloween!

Here's a nice, pleasant, only slightly unsettling ghost story for your reading enjoyment. Because that's how I roll.


Kate was lost in the woods.

On Halloween night.

And her cell phone wasn’t getting any reception.

“I’m a moron,” she grumbled as she slumped against an enormous old tree, rubbing her arms to try to keep warm in the growing chill. Her long blonde hair blew in and out of her face in the night wind. While one side of the tree was tall and weighed down with golden leaves, the other was barren and scorched, as though it had been struck by lightning long ago and never fully recovered.

Taking a hayride through the infamous Sleepy Hollow with some other kids from her high school sounded like a fun idea on paper. What she forgot to account for was the “other kids” part. Kate had wanted to spend the evening enjoying the seasonal rapture of autumn in rural New York – with the added fun of a bit of spooky history - but what she got instead was an earful of gossip and awkward public displays of affection by dating couples. A few guys from the football team had come along, and were obnoxiously full of themselves as always.

And then the ghost stories started. Kate knew this was Halloween and all, but it turned out teenagers became sociopaths when telling ghost stories. It rapidly devolved into a competition to see who could come up with the most macabre tales, and it was as if everyone had simultaneously decided to show their darkest sides and revel in them.

At that point Kate couldn’t take it anymore. When the wagon slowed a bit to navigate a particularly bumpy patch, she slipped over the side and let it trundle on without her. She was pretty sure she could find the way back if she just returned the direction they had come from.

Well, that was half an hour ago and she hadn’t so much as seen a light from a building. And she was getting colder by the minute.

“So this is how I die,” she muttered. “Great. One more ghost to haunt Sleepy Hollow.”

Or she could at least keep moving. Kate pushed away from the old tree and forced her stiff legs to walk. Her cell phone’s light kept her from stumbling over rocks and roots as she scanned the wet ground ahead of her.

Suddenly something new showed up in the pale LED glow—a pair of hooves.

Survey time!

I'm collecting data on the reading habits of young adult (YA) fiction readers, and I'd love to hear from you in this survey!

Even if you don't read YA fiction, please feel free to share the survey with YA readers you know!

Also, if you wanted a general writing update: Earthkeepers first draft writing starts next week! And there are only two chapters left of Worth Searching For (also coming next week)!

Why yes, I have secretly dropped Earthkeepers teasers into the survey. You're welcome. :)

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 30

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 - Chapter 24 - Chapter 25 - Chapter 26 - Chapter 27 - Chapter 28
Chapter 29 - Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32

A Wocky lurched forward with a morning star and swept it toward Hyren. The Grundo moved to block, but his straining muscles just couldn’t move his sword in time. Hyren cringed and waited for the blow to land.

Before the chunk of spiky metal reached him, something white and sparking streaked down from the sky and caught the Wocky up in its enormous jaws. It was an oversized Biyako made of fireworks, and the feline Petpet shook the phantom soldier like a toy before tossing it away to dissolve into the green miasma. Seemingly satisfied, the Biyako tore through the ranks, leaving mayhem and mist in its wake.

Hyren looked to the sky. “Blynn?!” he shouted.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 29

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 - Chapter 24 - Chapter 25 - Chapter 26 - Chapter 27 - Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32

Their march took them off the main Brightvale-Meridell road and into the rolling countryside that stretched in front of the mountains. Feitz explained that the Sweetwater Fields, a wide swath of moorland where shepherds brought their Babaas and Zebies to graze, were so named because the Sweetwater River bisected the plains on its way to the sea.

Said river was not particularly wide or deep at the point where the army forded it. There was a bridge some miles downriver, but the Pteri scouts reported that the phantoms were closing in fast. The army wouldn’t have the time for such a circuitous route.

Hyren clutched the saddlehorn as deep green water swirled around Feitz’s thick fetlocks and rose to the Uni’s knees. The water looked frigid and wholly unpleasant and Hyren wasn’t going to touch it if he could help himself. He was already sore from riding—he didn’t need to be wet and cold on top of that while fighting.

At least the clouds weren’t thick enough for snow. No, they were content to just cover the sun to make sure the day looked as ominous as it was supposed to. It simply wouldn’t do, Hyren thought, to fight a mad wizard’s spectral army on a beautiful sunny morning. Completely incongruous.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 28

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 - Chapter 24 - Chapter 25 - Chapter 26 - Chapter 27 - Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32

That night, the Werelupes practically threw a party in the castle courtyard. The pack had set up furs and fires and spent the night preparing for war. They bayed and laughed and sung rhythmic chants about combat and victory as they sharpened their weapons, checked their armour, and feasted on the food they had brought from the Burrows. 

Hyren stayed in the infirmary with Terra and Blynn, and the sound of the Werelupes’ activity outside faintly filtered past the stone walls and stained glass. But that wasn’t why Hyren was having trouble getting to sleep.

Blynn had barely eaten anything that day and she remained largely unresponsive. Terra was beginning to look… dirty, for lack of a better word. She literally appeared as though she’d been exhumed from the ground, covered in a strange loamy patina. To Hyren it seemed like the earth was slowly trying to reclaim her where she lay.

The blankets and pillows that Arsinoe provided Hyren were comfy enough, but they couldn’t ease the knots in his gut. Tomorrow he had to prove himself on the field of battle again. Sure, there were the skirmishes at the Tyrannian Obelisk the previous year, and many wars before that, but this time the life of his owner hung in the balance. And he had to trust in the allegiance of a faction that had been his enemies up until yesterday. He’d like to see anyone sleep well in a situation like this.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 27

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 - Chapter 24 - Chapter 25 - Chapter 26 - Chapter 27 Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32

The Werelupes arrived at dusk.

Hyren, Blynn, and Isengrim were in the middle of dinner when a Weewoo arrived with a scroll from Suhel announcing that the pack was nearing the gates of the castle town. Clearance had already been given for them to enter. Isengrim wrote back to proceed to the castle and he would meet them there.

He, his knight escorts, and Hyren watched for them atop the castle gatehouse. Hyren had been unable to tear Celice away from helping Seradar and the other mages devise an enchantment to counter the phantom army’s incorporeality. And Blynn refused to leave Terra’s side. But Hyren and the knights had developed a good rapport, and Isengrim did not seem interested in being antagonistic, although he had not really said anything to Hyren since their failed conversation in the armoury. Hyren had little else to do for the time being. He was not one for moping.

The once-lively town now looked abandoned. Many civilians had evacuated to Neopia Central to the north, or smaller communities further west. Those who stayed barricaded themselves inside their homes. The cobbled streets were empty, windows and doors had been boarded up, and marketplace stalls were barren of food and wares.

So there was no one around to see the Werelupes come in.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 26

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 - Chapter 24 - Chapter 25 - Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32

One deep and dreamless sleep later, Hyren was awakened by Celice shaking his shoulder and holding a platter of eggs and sausage under his face. “Thanks,” the Grundo croaked, taking the plate and spooning egg into his mouth. He felt adequately rested physically, although his mind was still in a fog from everything that had happened.

Blynn sat with her long feet dangling over the side of the bed, poking at her food listlessly. Isengrim, meanwhile, tilted his platter and devoured the entire thing in one bite, making ungainly snarfling and snapping sounds as the food disappeared down his maw. He licked the plate clean and licked egg yolk from his whiskers, then sat back against the wall. He hadn’t moved from his spot at the side of Terra’s bed.

“I don’t suppose you have any more,” the Werelupe said to Celice.

The white Lupe cut a prim slice from her own eggs and said, “If I go back to the kitchens and ask for enough to satiate you, they’ll suspect I’m harbouring the Turmaculus in here.”

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 25

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 - Chapter 24 - Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32

They flew through the rest of the night, following the setting moon, retreating from the phantasmal glow-storm that hovered above the Werelupe Woods. Hyren realised that he must have ended up dozing off against Celice’s back, because the next thing he knew, she was shaking him to wake up.

“We’re almost there,” she said, using her elbow to nudge him back upright.

“Good morning to you, too,” Hyren said. His antennae were numb from the frigid air, but being seated between two warm-blooded Lupes seemed to have kept him warm enough through the night. The sky ahead was blue-grey, but the clouds behind them glowed pink with impending sunshine. Brightvale Castle and its surrounding city lay still in the twilight, not yet ready to fully wake. Even the castle’s banners hung motionless for want of breeze.

Isengrim sat stone-still behind him, holding Terra with a silent vigil. The Werelupe’s crimson eyes burned and Hyren could only imagine what thoughts were buzzing beneath them. Isengrim had been betrayed, his home invaded, his pack forced to flee their keep yet again, and now his owner was suffering from the effects of taking a curse for him. It hadn’t really been a pleasant night for anyone involved.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 24

Hyren felt like he’d been punched in the gut. “No!” he choked. Starting forward, he drew his sword, with Terra and Isengrim close on his heels.

Skoll thrust out his paw and an invisible force flung them back. Isengrim caught both Terra and Hyren, and the Grundo quickly jumped back to his feet. “Pharazon!” he yelled. “Hold on—I’m coming!” He, Terra, and Isengrim rushed the Draik, but were thrown back again.

Pharazon yelped and flapped his wings to right himself, but globs of green shot out of the hole and latched onto him, pulling him down. The humming grew more intense until Hyren’s sword felt ready to vibrate out of his hand, like whatever was in that pit was hungry for a long-awaited meal.

The Draik struggled against the spectral mass but it clung to him like tar. “Skoll—you said you’d never sacrifice anyone here!” he gasped.

Skoll grinned wickedly and said, “I lied.”

Readers, as a grateful and joyful Christian, I want you to know that I know, through personal experience and countless uncanny answers to prayer, that God is real. He loves all of us. He has a plan for us as individuals and as a human family. And I have certainly seen His guiding hand throughout everything that has gone on in the past year.

This address from my church's latest conference perfectly encapsulates how I feel. I hope that reading it will bring comfort and encouragement to you as well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Welcome to the new layout!

I decided I wanted to use this blog as my general author website, which necessitated a few changes. Please tell me what you think!

Not much to report other than that, except that I am going to try to use NaNoWriMo for Earthkeepers, so that should be fun! I have been really wanting to get cracking on that manuscript, but life has kept me so busy. It'll be really nice to get 50,000 words out of the way in a month! I'll post daily word count updates on my Facebook page, so follow me for some NaNo fun!

Also my niece is still terrifying, so there's that.

Worth Searching For, Chapter 23

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32

Hyren thrust out his sword, but it was batted aside by an enormous dark paw whose claws grazed the metal, throwing up sparks. An immense weight flung him to the ground and pinned him there. As Hyren caught his breath and brought up his blade, it was caught in the teeth of a scimitar.

Past it, glaring down at him, was an all-too-familiar Werelupe wearing a crown of bone. “You will regret your intrusion, treasure seeker,” the Werelupe King growled, his fur bristled and muzzle scrunched in sheer aggression.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 22

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 - Chapter 21
Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32

Roberta’s directions proved to be far more helpful than she’d predicted. Hyren, Blynn, Celice, and Gwyneth found the turnoff easily, and by nightfall they’d begun to make their way up into the wooded mountains. Between the Ganuthor’s fur, their woollen cloaks, and a warming enchantment courtesy of Celice, no one was cold that chilly night. Even so, Hyren couldn’t help but be envious of Neopets with fur.

The next morning dawned clear and crisp. Most of the rain clouds from the past few days had moved on, leaving high wisps of white in the pale sky that foretold an impending frost. The days were getting colder and it might very likely snow if it clouded over again.

So much for an early spring, Hyren thought with dismay as he ate his breakfast of cheese toast. At least Celice was handy with her fire spells.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 21

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 - Chapter 21
Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32

As Isengrim carried Terra through the tunnels to the commons cavern for dinner, a tremendously mouth-watering smell began to fill her nose. It was savoury and hearty, and although she couldn’t quite place it, it made her even hungrier than she already was.

She and Isengrim had returned from Caxton Bank earlier that night, along with a team of Werelupes who had brought back everything from Isengrim’s “hunt” that the villagers could not use. The Werelupes had appropriated the Monocerous skeleton for themselves, as they could eat the marrow and would use the bones for decoration, jewelry, and toolmaking. They also, unsurprisingly, enjoyed merely gnawing on the bones.

Since Isengrim was wounded and could not take a very active part in things himself, and had a wounded owner to tend to, he spent the trip back giving her a tour of the woods. He showed her how the trees were beginning to bud, pointed out a family of Albats sleeping in the hollow of a tremendous old yew, and found some wild peppermint for her to taste.

Now they were back at the Burrows, and it seemed like tonight’s dinner was shaping up to be something different. As Terra began to hear the talking and laughing of Werelupes, Isengrim shifted her to one arm and covered her eyes with his paw.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 20

“Skoll, where are we going?” Pharazon asked as he trudged down the steep-sided forest path after his Werelupe mentor. Even filtered through a thick layer of clouds, the setting sun’s light hurt the faerie Draik’s eyes at first, a side effect of living underground. It was only a few days, but it already felt like an eternity to him.

“Somewhere special, my boy,” Skoll said. “I think you’ve earned a break from your studies.”

Terra and Isengrim had been absent still at breakfast, but Suhel received a Weewoo from Isengrim, asking for a number of available Werelupes to meet him in Caxton Bank to help the two get back to the Burrows. Pharazon hoped that meant his owner would return soon. Even though they were not on the best of terms right now, he still felt better having her around. And he wanted to show her how strong he had become.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Update time! Again I apologize that new chapters of Worth Searching For have been coming in fits and starts. I have been really wrapped up in this children's book project. However, today I sent off the finished pages to my client, which means the bulk of the work is done! Depending on how long she takes to get back to me, and if there are any alterations she wants me to make, I may have some time next week to post new chapters of WSF.

And after I've finished posting all of it, I'll get started on Earthkeepers! It feels like it's taking forever to get to this novel, but honestly I've just been so busy with other things. I don't want to start the manuscript yet because I don't like feeling like I have a lot on my plate, and I especially don't like having several unfinished projects going at once. So by waiting until I feel like I've freed up an adequate amount of time to dedicate to the manuscript, I'm reducing my stress levels, and I'm sure that will help me work more efficiently than if I tried to cram it in to my already crammed-full schedule right now.

So that's about all to report as far as creative work goes. My niece is still staying with me and is still hilarious. She's two and a half now. They call it the Terrible Twos... in her case it's more like the Terrifying Twos. She's super smart and can easily outwit us adults. But that also makes her extremely funny and she says some really cute things. She loves cats, so we were looking up information on Sphynx cats. She calls them "wrinkler cats" because they're wrinkly.

Take care, everybody!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Worth Searching For, Chapter 19

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32

“Roberta!” Celice called as she swung open the door to the Scrollery.

“Can I help you?” a youthful female voice answered from inside.

In the middle of racks of scrolls sat a single desk, piled high with rolled parchment. A pair of head-tendrils and a cascade of curly black hair ducked behind the stack of documents, and a blue Acara came out the other side with an armful of scrolls. “Please, come in, we’re open,” she said, carefully fitting a scroll onto the pile and then cringing as the whole mound shifted, but seemed to settle without incident.