Truly Great Words Never Die

Say, does anyone around here remember the fun of Save-a-Word Saturday? Well, the best of it is back, and then some! …Or it will be, this July. Behold: Outlaws of Avalon, Book 2.5.

Welcome to Avalon, where truly great heroes – and words – never die.

Join the Merry Men and denizens of Camelot in a collection of flash fiction as neo-“ye olde” as a Renaissance Faire, every slice of their immortal life served up with an archaism ripe for revival – from “accismus” to “Weltschmerz”, with plenty of laughs in between.

Come for the language lesson, stay for the Will Scarlet shenanigans, along with a facet or two of your Fey isle friends that you’ve never seen before.

Truly Great Words, w text 4

Can we talk about that cover??

“Oh, do let’s!” Will Scarlet jumps in. “That art is phenomenal! Who the heck do we thank?”

That would be Hannah Vale Illustrations and Art, the same talent behind the cover of “An Avalon Christmas Carol”.

“What a concept,” says Allyn-a-Dale, eyes tracing the shape of the lute grown wild. “I hope the like shall never befall my own dear instrument, but visually, it takes one’s breath away.”

Will laughs. “The day your lute becomes a tree is the day you transform into the little blue birdie in its branches.”

Allyn smiles. “There are stranger ways to spend an afterlife.”

As Book 2.5 can attest, along with the rest of your series. X)

Like the Christmas special, “Truly Great Words Never Die” will be e-book only, at least until further notice. So ready your Kindles and compatible apps! Add the title to your Goodreads to-read list! And stay tuned, for the book shall soon be available for pre-order. ^o^

(Interested in reading an early copy in exchange for an honest review? Let me know!)

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Hounded Heroes (Scarlet’s Fairytale Spin, Act 16)

W.A.I.T. Button, 78 percent

“Welcome, one and all,” says Will Scarlet, with a broad smile and a bow, “to Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre!”

“Every Saturday,” says Allyn-a-Dale, “Will and I and our friends from the story world of ‘The Outlaws of Avalon ’ trilogy—”

“Coming one of these days to a book retailer near you!”

“—Will take at random two of the suggestions gleaned from you, our gentle audience, and incorporate them into… well, the sort of tomfoolery Will calls entertainment.”

“So make yourselves comfortable,” says Will, “as we now present to you: ‘Hounded Heroes’!”

<<<>>>

[The curtain rises on the interior of the Antichristmas Beast’s tower – for a change, set up on a platform raised high over stage left. A handheld mirror shakes in the clawed hand of the Beast, portrayed by Little John.]

Little John/Beast: Previously in this blasted serial fairytale, my flying monkey captain defected to my enemies, and the Puffwolf  sold me out for a Gant-o’-the-Lute concert. Now Jack Snow has taken possession of the singing sword, which shall surely mean my doom if wielded against me! I must at all costs prevent him from reaching my castle! [raises arms high over his horned head; his voice booms like thunder as the lights flicker and flash ] By the dark powers vested in me, in the name of all evil things anti-Christmas, unleash the Baskerville hounds!

[Across the stage, Allyn as Jack Snow, Will Scarlet as Peter “The Woodsman” Pan, Marion Hood as Wendy Darling-Pan, and Robin Hood as Simian the aforementioned flying monkey enter the scene.]

Will/Woodsman: Three miles to the Beast’s castle, and all’s well!

[Through a trapdoor just a step ahead of the players, up spring a pair of simplistic but rather terrifying puppets resembling English mastiffs that happen to be glowing a ghoulish green. Ferocious snarling abounds.]

Will/Woodsman: I spoke too soon.

Marion/Wendy: Baskerville hounds! How are we to defeat them?

Robin/Simian: Allow me.

[Robin whips out and slips on the magic britches introduced in Act 11, simultaneously throwing off his furry coat with its attached wings and tail which he turns inside-out to become a dark blue trench coat. He winds a scarf around the turned-up collar and affects a haughty, high-functioning-sociopathic expression.]

Allyn/Jack: Heavens above, he’s a dead ringer for Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes!

Robin/Simian Cumberbatch [coolly ]: I am Sherlock Holmes. And as any Shelockian could tell you, Baskerville hounds, I’ve not only dealt with your kind before, but ultimately emerged victorious. [scathingly ] You would do well to crawl back into the hole from which you came, and inform your master that his end comes without mercy. For we may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one second that any of us are one of them.

[Whimpering in fear, the hound puppets slink back through the trapdoor.]

Will/Woodsman: Do you know, Simian, when you’re not being an insufferable coward, you’re actually somewhat amazing?

Robin/Simian Cumberbatch [with a small smile ]: I may have some information to that effect stored in my mind palace, yes.

[Meanwhile, up in the tower…]

Little John/Beast: A thousand curses! I need a Plan B! [more light/sound effects ] By the dark powers vested in me, in the name of all evil things anti-Christmas, unleash the ice hounds!

[Back across the stage…]

Will/Woodsman: Two miles to the Beast’s castle, and all’s well!

[Expert light-‘n’-shadow-puppetry thrown onto the backdrop creates the distinct impression of huge, coldly glittering canines. Blood-chilling growling abounds.]

Will/Woodsman: I stand corrected.

Marion/Wendy: Ice hounds! How do we handle this?

Allyn/Jack: Allow me. [sings ]

Firebird, firebird, hither fly at speed.

Bring your light, blazing bright, that we may proceed.

[From above, a pyrotechnic bird puppet swoops across the stage. Their howls growing fainter by the moment, the ice hound shadows melt to nothing.]

Will/Woodsman: Well, you made swift work of that!

Allyn/Jack [with a grin ]: The cold never bothered me anyway.

[Up in the tower…]

Little John/Beast: Ohhh, hell, oh— [snaps his fingers ] Hell! That’s it! [light/sound effects ] By the dark powers vested in me, in the name of all evil things anti-Christmas, unleash… Cerberus!

[Across the stage…]

Will/Woodsman: One mile to the Beast’s castle, and—

[From the stage left wings, what should roll in but an enormous mechanical construction of three-headed monstrositude. Horrific roaring abounds.]

Will/Woodsman: Never mind.

All is so far from well.

All is so far from well.

Marion/Wendy: Cerberus the hellhound?! How in the world are we supposed to deal with that? [turns to Robin ]

Robin/Simian: [turns to Allyn ]

Allyn/Jack: [turns to Will ]

Will/Woodsman: Yeah, I got nothin’.

[The four huddle together in fear as Cerberus draws nearer, three pairs of red eyes burning like hellfire, until a howling gust from off stage right blows in, blasting Cerberus back the way he came.]

Our Heroes/The Beast: What the…??

[Enter the Puffwolf, portrayed by Edgwyn Wyle.]

Edgwyn/Puffwolf: Just a quick puff to thank you for scoring me that private concert from Gant-o’-the-Lute. It rocked! As did the opening act. You ever hear of the Rock Minstrel?

Allyn/Jack [pulling a face ]: Not that screeching bardolater who goes up against the Merry Men’s minstrel in a ballad-off in “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale”?

Will/Woodsman: Sheesh, I know you’ve had your musical differences, but is that sort of name-calling really necessary?

Allyn/Jack: “Bardolater” isn’t a slur, Woodsman. It just means someone who idolizes Shakespeare.

Will/Woodsman: Oh. Well, hello, Save-a-Word Saturday.

Marion/Wendy: Speaking of saving, thanks for the rescue, Puffwolf!

Edgwyn/Puffwolf: My pleasure. Give the old Antichristmas Beast my regards.

Allyn/Jack: Oh, don’t worry. [draws the singing sword from the scabbard at his belt ] We soon shall.

<<<>>>

“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.

“Thank you to audience members Miranda McNeff and Eric Wilder,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘hounds, lots of hounds’ and ‘bardolater’.”

“If you enjoyed yourselves,” Will says, “(or if you didn’t, but you totally did, right?), don’t forget to leave suggestions for future productions in the comments! Words or phrases we’ve got to include, a prop to use, a prompt to run with… anything goes! ‘Til next time, friends:  Will and Allyn out!”

“Panegyric” or “The End of Save-a-Word Saturday”

And now for the grand finale (yes, it’s true) of Save-a-Word Saturday! For any who need a reminder of/never knew what that means, here’s how it goes:

Save-a-Word Saturday

1) Create a post linking back to the hosts, The Feather and the Rose.

2) Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in the post. (If you find yourself in want of options, Feather ‘n’ Rose recommended a site that may have some word-lovers drooling. Luciferous Logolepsy. Even its name is old and delicious!)

3) Provide a definition of your word, and use it in a sentence/short paragraph/mini story vaguely related to the particular week’s chosen theme.

4) Sign up properly on the host post’s linky list so participants can easily find each other and share their logophilistic joy.

5) Be a hero by sharing these retro words with the world!

The final theme: Finale.

The word: “Panegyric”, a noun meaning “a lofty oration or writing in praise of a person or thing; a eulogy”.

The example:

Will Scarlet stares ahead, expression dazed, the threat of tears in his twitching eye. “I can’t believe it’s ending.”

“All things do,” Allyn replies, though not without sympathy. “But we’ve made a good show of it, have we not? Every week since the ninth of February – nine whole months of Saturdays out of the year-long existence of the blog hop – we’ve married archaic words with arbitrary themes whilst sharing small glimpses of our story-world that even devoted readers of our future ‘Outlaws of Avalon’ trilogy would not otherwise have seen. That is a feat worth remembering with pride, and—”

“I don’t want to hear a panegyric, minstrel!” Will moans in frustration. “I don’t want to lay a lily on the grave of my beloved Save-a-Word Saturdays!”

“A rose, then?” Allyn suggests. “Perhaps a feather, as well?”

“I see what you did there. Seriously, though, we can’t let this end here. I need my Saturdays in the spotlight. More than that: My adoring fangirls need them!”

“But the event’s creators have declared this to be the finale.”

“Yeah, okay,” Will says, pacing back and forth as his mind’s mechanics pick up speed. “So we create a new event. One curtain falls, another rises. Our author’s still got a blog, and we’ve still got mad showmanship skillz. I’ve got it!” He snaps his fingers and spins around to point at Allyn. “Remember that thing we did, once? The ‘Peter and the Wolf’’ thing?”

An involuntary expression of pained horror crosses Allyn’s face. “You’re not suggesting a resurrection of ‘Will and Allyn’s Storytime Musical Theatre’, are you?”

“One better: ‘Will and Allyn’s Interactive Theatre’!”

“Wait—”

“Right, that’s the acronym. Just think of it!” Will spreads his hands before him, eyes dancing with a manic light. “Every Saturday, you and I and potentially other members of the Merry Men and the ‘Outlaws’ cast in general can do more or less as we’ve been doing all along, except instead of working with themes and ancient words, we’ll be working with suggestions from the audience!”

“What kind of suggestions?” Allyn asks uneasily.

Will Scarlet grins. “Anything they want. They can toss out words or phrases we’ve got to include, a prop to use, a prompt to run with… anything. We will ‘Yes, And’ the heck out of it like the professional improvisers we are, the audience will wet themselves laughing, and the public attention requirement for my fragile ego’s health will be met. Winning all around.”

“Well,” Allyn says, bracing for the inevitable, “I suppose if the readers would be interested…”

“Pfft, ‘suppose’. Why suppose anything when we can know for a fact? Go on, all you beautiful reader people.” Will gestures to the comment section below with a smile of anticipation. “Lay it on us: What do you want to see next?”

“Montivagant” or “Holiday Is Where the Heart Is”

It’s Save-a-Word Saturday! For any who need a reminder of/never knew what that means, here’s how it goes:

Save-a-Word Saturday

1) Create a post linking back to the hosts, The Feather and the Rose.

2) Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in the post. (If you find yourself in want of options, Feather ‘n’ Rose recommended a site that may have some word-lovers drooling. Luciferous Logolepsy. Even its name is old and delicious!)

3) Provide a definition of your word, and use it in a sentence/short paragraph/mini story vaguely related to the particular week’s chosen theme.

4) Sign up properly on the host post’s linky list so participants can easily find each other and share their logophilistic joy.

5) Be a hero by sharing these retro words with the world!

I’ve been participating in the weekly fun via my Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” Facebook page, giving myself the extra challenge/fun of relating every word I pick to my re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend, the “Outlaws of Avalon” trilogy (a.k.a. the magnum opus to be self-published after the completion of “The Wilderhark Tales”). But I figure, hey, with my vignettes generally pre-written and ready to go, no reason I can’t post them here for the blog-inclined to see!

So, without further delay, here’s my word-saving civic duty of the day.

The theme: Journeys.

The word: “Montivagant”, an adjective meaning “wandering over hills and mountains”.

The Example:

The pair lay back on the lake’s bank, eyes on the summer stars, the sleepy silence between them slow to break, until, “If you could journey anywhere,” Will said at last, “where would you go?”

Allyn shrugged a shoulder in the grass. “I’ve never much cared. The ‘where’ means less than the ‘who’. To make my montivagant way to our world’s edge and back with Father was no better or worse than to sit still with him in one place. Only perhaps the latter was the more thrilling,” he supposed, “for being the rarer.”

Will’s head turned Allyn-ward. “So you would be pleased to lie here just like this, night after night?”

“With my band brother beside me?” Allyn touched a hand to Will’s elbow. “Every night forever.”

“Hmmph,” said Will, returning his gaze to the sky. “Well, maybe a stay-still forever with you won’t be so bad.”

Allyn smiled. “Time may tell.”

“Bowdlerize” or “Words and Wallpaper Unfit to Print”

It’s Save-a-Word Saturday! For any who need a reminder of/never knew what that means, here’s how it goes:

Save-a-Word Saturday

1) Create a post linking back to the hosts, The Feather and the Rose.

2) Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in the post. (If you find yourself in want of options, Feather ‘n’ Rose recommended a site that may have some word-lovers drooling. Luciferous Logolepsy. Even its name is old and delicious!)

3) Provide a definition of your word, and use it in a sentence/short paragraph/mini story vaguely related to the particular week’s chosen theme.

4) Sign up properly on the host post’s linky list so participants can easily find each other and share their logophilistic joy.

5) Be a hero by sharing these retro words with the world!

I’ve been participating in the weekly fun via my Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” Facebook page, giving myself the extra challenge/fun of relating every word I pick to my re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend, the “Outlaws of Avalon” trilogy (a.k.a. the magnum opus to be self-published after the completion of “The Wilderhark Tales”). But I figure, hey, with my vignettes generally pre-written and ready to go, no reason I can’t post them here for the blog-inclined to see!

So, without further delay, here’s my word-saving civic duty of the day.

The theme: Wallpaper Removal.

The word: “Bowdlerize”, a verb meaning “to remove those parts of a text considered offensive, vulgar, or otherwise unseemly”.

The Example:

“Take it down.”

“But—”

“Take, it, down,” Merlin repeated, each word hard and distinct as the first drops of a freezing rain.

“It will help with insulation!” Will argued. “You know how drafty castles are. And so dreary, with all this dull gray stone everywhere. High time we got a bold pattern and splash of color to liven things…” He trailed off into silence beneath the wizard’s glare, full of sentiment he suspected his sensitive author would be forced to bowdlerize if spoken aloud.

“Mr. Scarlet,” Merlin said quietly. “You will remove every scrap of this hideous wallpaper from the Round Table room by morning, or you will suffer.”

Will swallowed. “Suffer what?”

“Not half of what I do,” Merlin grumbled, stalking away toward his supply of aspirin.

<<<>>>

IN UNRELATED NEWS: If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to enter the “Inspired” Journal Giveaway, where winning the delightful notebook of your choice could be as easy as answering a fun question about muses, ideas, and of course, inspiration. I draw the seven winning names on Monday, so delay ye not!

“Sagittipotent” and the “One More Day” e-ARC Winner!

*Stay tuned at the end of this post for the announcement of the winner of the e-ARC of the One More Day” anthology!*

It’s Save-a-Word Saturday! For any who need a reminder of/never knew what that means, here’s how it goes:

Save-a-Word Saturday

1) Create a post linking back to the hosts, The Feather and the Rose.

2) Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in the post. (If you find yourself in want of options, Feather ‘n’ Rose recommended a site that may have some word-lovers drooling. Luciferous Logolepsy. Even its name is old and delicious!)

3) Provide a definition of your word, and use it in a sentence/short paragraph/mini story vaguely related to the particular week’s chosen theme.

4) Sign up properly on the host post’s linky list so participants can easily find each other and share their logophilistic joy.

5) Be a hero by sharing these retro words with the world!

I’ve been participating in the weekly fun via my Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” Facebook page, giving myself the extra challenge/fun of relating every word I pick to my re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend, the “Outlaws of Avalon” trilogy (a.k.a. the magnum opus to be self-published after the completion of “The Wilderhark Tales”). But I figure, hey, with my vignettes generally pre-written and ready to go, no reason I can’t post them here for the blog-inclined to see!

So, without further delay, here’s my word-saving civic duty of the day

The theme: Chandeliers.

The word: “Sagittipotent,” an adjective meaning “having great ability in archery”.

The Example:

“Aaand it’s another bull’s-eye,” Will sighed, plucking the shaft from the straw target. “I hate to say it, Robin, but this is beginning to lose the thrill of surprise.”

Robin lowered his bow, shrugging in acknowledgement. “’Tis the price the sagittipotent must pay, I’m afraid. What would you have me do? Shoot blindfolded and drunk?”

“One, yes, we are so doing that!”

“I wasn’t being serious, Will.”

“Two,” Will continued, “I think it’s time we found you a challenge beyond simply hitting things with your arrows. What say we move this operation into the Round Table room and see if you can’t shoot out the flame of a candle in the chandelier?”

“Tempting,” said Robin. “Honestly tempting. But I don’t believe the residents of the castle would appreciate that.”

I’m a resident of the castle, and I’m all for it! Come on!” Will dashed away across the Archer’s Green, calling behind him, “Last one there buys the ale for the blindfolded and drunk round!”

Shaking his head, Robin stayed where he was, and eyed the straw target in contemplation. Maybe trying to draw the bow left-handed would shake things up a bit.

<<<>>>

And now, the name of the lucky duck who gets to read a copy of the upcoming YA anthology “One More Day” ahead of its December 2nd release…

Eric Wilder!

Congratulations! I’ll be in contact to get you your e-ARC courtesy of J. Taylor Publishing A.S.A.P. You’re in for a treat with the fun variety of stories therein (including, of course, my own contribution, “A Morrow More”.) I can’t wait to hear what you think of the book!

As for everyone else, sit tight. December will be here before half of us are ready for it, and then you’ll be able to scoop up a lovely e-copy or paperback of your own. ;D

<<<>>>

OneMoreDay_Cover-blog

What if today never ends?

What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?
Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.

Unless …

In One More Day, Erika Beebe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley and Anna Simpson join L.S. Murphy to give us their twists, surprising us with answers to two big questions, all from the perspective of characters under the age of eighteen.

How do we restart time?

How do we make everything go back to normal?

The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could, maybe, happen today.

Right now.

What would you do if this happened … to you?

“Ostent” or “By Your [Autumn] Leave”

It’s Save-a-Word Saturday! For any who need a reminder of/never knew what that means, here’s how it goes:

Save-a-Word Saturday

1) Create a post linking back to the hosts, The Feather and the Rose.

2) Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in the post. (If you find yourself in want of options, Feather ‘n’ Rose recommended a site that may have some word-lovers drooling. Luciferous Logolepsy. Even its name is old and delicious!)

3) Provide a definition of your word, and use it in a sentence/short paragraph/mini story vaguely related to the particular week’s chosen theme.

4) Sign up properly on the host post’s linky list so participants can easily find each other and share their logophilistic joy.

5) Be a hero by sharing these retro words with the world!

I’ve been participating in the weekly fun via my Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” Facebook page, giving myself the extra challenge/fun of relating every word I pick to my re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend, the “Outlaws of Avalon” trilogy (a.k.a. the magnum opus to be self-published after the completion of “The Wilderhark Tales”). But I figure, hey, with my vignettes generally pre-written and ready to go, no reason I can’t post them here for the blog-inclined to see!

So, without further delay, here’s my word-saving civic duty of the day

The theme: Fall Leaves.

The word: “Ostent”, a noun meaning “display, show, manifestation”.

The Example:

Robin woke to an ostent of autumn. Sherwood’s treetops seemed to have all caught fire overnight, the misty light of early morning as smoke to the flaming red and gold of the leaves.

All too soon, Robin thought with an internal sigh of displeasure, those leaves would fall from overhead, thinning the cover for his Men who would hide there, crunching underfoot when they would fain walk in silence. And all of it a harbinger of winter, a cruel season for most any Englishman, still worse for the poor and the outlaws who fought for them.

All told, Robin felt he had little enough to thank autumn for – though he wagered his cousin would feel differently.

“Today, Robin?” Will asked, the eager hope in his face drawing a smile out of his harried leader.

“Today, Scarlet,” he consented. “Go forth in hood of red until we don our winter coats of brown.”

Will Scarlet leapt with a near-silent whoop, seized Robin to kiss him full on the lips, and scampered away to make the most of his favorite few weeks of the year.