Let the chaos reign!

Standard

I know I’ve been silent lately, but it can’t really be helped. I don’t have my own computer nor internet access where I’m living now, and I’m going to be there short-term, anyway. I’m not liking the living with the family members. It’s just too stressful. I love them dearly, but no one wants to hear what you think is wrong with the situation. 

Anyway, I’m making a few announcements. On the publishing front, there are two.
1 – From September 22 through September 29, I plan on running a promotion for Portal to Gaming. The goal is to publish The Sons of Thor on September 28. Sooner, if I can manage that, and I want the promotion to run in conjunction with the new publication.
2 – On October 1, I will try to set it up for Portal to Gaming to be free. If not on my birthday, then around Halloween or Thanksgiving as well as around the third book’s release. The first promotion is already set up. I’ll announce at a later date when it’s going to run.

Personal front:
I’m leaving Michigan as soon as humanly possible. I’m currently torn between moving to Philadelphia (where my heart has been for over a decade) or to Washington, where things are a little more progressive. 

I’ll be posting more as time allows.

Advertisements

About Me

Standard

My bio is a little sparse. I’m going to try and flesh it out a little more.

Well, first of all, I am Elise K. Ra’sha (obviously). I’m a 36-year-old female author living in Northern Michigan with a lot of upheaval coming into my life right now. Between writing and critiquing stories at a writing website (whom I’m eternally grateful to for the wonderful feedback I’ve received), I’m in the process of packing and getting ready to move. It’s nerve-wracking, but I’m looking forward to the new adventures coming my way, the new experiences those adventures will bring, and how it can enhance my work int he long run.

I love playing video games. Among my favorites are Star Ocean: Till the End of Time and Dragon Quest VIII: The Journey of the Cursed King. I also enjoyed playing Final Fantasy VII and watching the feature film sequel.

Basically, I love science-fiction and fantasy. 

My publication, Portal to Gaming, is a small victory for me, one that will lead to many others. I took a huge risk with it, with Fen being a gay character in a futuristic utopia. I know this, but I’m still satisfied with the end results and the sequel ideas spinning in my head.

As a science-fiction and fantasy author, I want to be as diverse as possible. That, to me, means having protagonists and antagonists of every creed – gay, straight, male, female, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and everything else – and of varying strengths and weaknesses, and political and religious views. We live in such a wide and diverse world. It’s a shame it’s not presented more often in the science-fiction and fantasy worlds, and it’d be a big  shame for me if I didn’t

Update for Portal to Gaming: The price is now $3.99. When I release The Sons of Thor, I’ll be running a discounted promotion on the first book. Also, my birthday is coming up in October.  For my birthday, I plan on doing something rather special. So stay tuned!

More information about Arch of Fantasy also forthcoming. The next several days are going to be very busy.

Portal to Gaming

Standard

I’m very pleased to announce that Portal to Gaming is now for sale on Amazon. Currently, it’s an e-book only, and the cost is $4.99.

About Portal to Gaming

Portal to Gaming is the first story in a series called Arch of Fantasy, and focuses on nineteen-year-old Fen Willows. He’s the son of two universally-renowned archaeologists, Farold and Victorie Amie Willows. He attends college, following in his parents’ footsteps. Though set in the distant future, post World War IV, jobs are mostly inherited. What your parents do for a living, chances are, you will do as well. Fen doesn’t mind becoming an alien archaeologist. He’s a curious young man, interested in learning.

School is winding down for the summer for Fen and his best friends, Wolfgang and Daniel Evans. His friends are looking forward to participating in an upcoming questing adventure called Arch of Fantasy by Portal to Gaming. Fen just wants to forget about his break up with his boyfriend. The Greco-Roman-Norse epic quest options don’t thrill him as much as they do his friends, but he’s willing to log in the hours with them. Fighting against Orcs and Kobolds relieves the tension. After all, it’s only a game.

Or so Fen thinks. 

A stranger approaches him, starting a fight. It is this event that will be the beginning of his life turning upside down. 

Greater powers are at play, and Fen is one of many caught in the middle. His life will be turned upside down with no guarantee for the future.

About Arch of Fantasy
Arch of Fantasy is a multi-story arch with a blend of science-fiction, fantasy, and mythology.

The second story in the series, The Sons of Thor, will follow Wolfgang and Daniel Evans as they try to make sense of everything that’s happened. The sons of two top-ranking military commanders, Wolfgang and Daniel are proud, confident, and strong, but they are not prepared for what’s coming. They, too, will be in for twists and turns and revelations as they seek out King Lopt’s two-headed fire wyvern. Secrets will be revealed to them that will either break their spirit or make them strong.

Tentative release date for The Sons of Thor is September 28, 2014.

More about the series will be posted in later updates.

The Choices We Make

Standard

I’ll be writing more about Portal to Gaming in an another entry – it is available for purchase at Amazon – but I want to take a moment to say something about choices. 

Back in January of 1993, back when I was living in a personal hell and didn’t truly realize how far down everything ran, I met this guy. We attended the same school – he was class of 1994, I was class of 1996 – but didn’t have many of the same classes together. I was a freshman, and freshmen pretty much had set courses to take. We met because I joined our competitive Forensics team.

No, we didn’t investigate crimes. For those of you not in the know, in high school and college, Forensics is about the various aspects of public speaking, from story-telling to informative speeches. 

Anyway, at our first competition of the year, we sat together and talked about comic books and cartoons, specifically X-Men. This was the start of a very good friendship. We had the same lunch hours so we started hanging out.

A month after our first conversation, I realized I had a crush on this guy. I then had a dilemma.

What do I do? Do I ask him and have him say no? Do I not ask him out?

This was a life-defining moment for me. I realized that I could either ask this guy out – the worst thing he could have said was “no” – and take my chances or I could live with the questions of what could have been for the rest of my life.

I chose to take a chance, to not live my life always asking “what if I had done this instead”, and asked him in a note to be my boyfriend.

He said “yes” to my note. For almost a year, we were boyfriend and girlfriend and not just friends. While it didn’t work out between us, I still had my answer.

Recent events and a recent conversation with my best friend, whom I love as my wise and crazy older sister, have reminded me about what it means to take a chance. 

And I know that there are a lot of reasons for why we take chances or don’t take them. All answers boil down to a fear of failure or a fear of rejection. I chose at the age of 15 to never look back, to take those chances. For years now, I dreamed of being published and of being successful at it, of lamenting to myself how I wasn’t and kept saying some day. Some day soon. I have other dreams I want to fulfill, too, and I will.

I’ve also been told that the things I want to do, like writing, are a waste of time. There isn’t any profit in it, that I will never make it, that I need to do something more practical and more meaningful with my life. I’ve still chosen the career of an author. It has always given me meaning in my life, and I’ve taken the first step. Because I’m done dreaming. It’s time to do.

Because I chose at a very young age to never look back and lament on what I could have done. Woulda/coulda/shoulda gets you nowhere. 

So ask yourself: Do you want to look back on your life and ask yourself the woulda/coulda/shoulda? Or do you want to look back on your life, knowing the answer?

Portal to Gaming – Excerpt

Standard

Well, my friends, Feast of Fantasy: The Ultimate Fantasy Adventure is no longer the title of my soon-to-be self-published novella. Or short novel. I’m still very fuzzy about where one thing cuts off and becomes something else when it comes to word count. The title of my novella is now Portal to Gaming​, and here is the excerpt.
.
From Portal to Gaming:

The village of Tulupa bustled with life. Vendors hawking their wares shouted to be heard over the marching of booted feet and the whinnying of horses. Women walked along, examining bolts of fabric, meats, breads, and cheeses. Small children scampered underfoot.
Fen turned off the main road, and the sounds of everyday life fell away. The alley he strode down was surrounded by poorly constructed homes of thatch and stone and wooden carts with iron-spoke wheels, torches, with tall, stone walls peering over them.

It was also silent, empty. Muffled, even. He stopped and glanced around. Satisfaction filled him with how his and his friends’ quest to battle a group of Kobolds ended. The fighting relieved some of the tension creeping into his shoulders and kept his mind off his recent break-up with his boyfriend. Now was the time to collect the reward and move on to the next adventure.

Confusion erased away some of his satisfaction. Beggars and the homeless usually made their homes in the alleyway. He saw no one. He glanced at the piece of parchment in his hand and frowned. According to a bright red door to one side, he was in the right location to meet his contact.

Something wasn’t right.

‘Where’s the lady who . . .’

“Draw your sword.”                                                                   

Fen froze as the sharp edge of a broad sword appeared in his peripheral vision and pressed against his cheek and ear. A trickle of blood ran from the right side of his face and slid onto his neck. The wounds stung and startled him. His heart pounded, heavy yet fast. He cursed himself for allowing his guard to falter so this assailant could sneak up on him. He’d not heard the soft whisper of a sword being unsheathed or the footsteps of this person’s arrival. He should have had some kind of indication in the quiet that he wasn’t alone.

‘How did I miss those? Where did he come from?’

Fen fought the urge to simply whirl around and smack the weapon away with the back side of his hand. He couldn’t risk another injury so soon after that skirmish with Kobold bandits, despite the ridiculously easiness of the task. His left arm ached from the gash the leader had given him. Panicking was the last thing he needed to do in his current situation. He inhaled a sharp, deep breath.

‘Calm. Remain calm,’ he told himself. ‘He’s expecting me to panic. Well, I won’t give him the satisfaction. He won’t ever get the drop on me again. But why does he want me to draw my sword? He could’ve killed me already, taken my stuff and be gone. Others would’ve done so by now. Is he really just wanting to fight me? Why? Stop thinking about it, dammit. Focus! You’re not usually a scatterbrain, Fen!’

“You want me . . . to draw my sword?” With slow and deliberate grace, Fen reached for his sword, where it hung behind his waist.

“Is that so hard to believe?” The man’s voice held mild amusement and a hint of mockery.

Fen’s free hand balled into a fist. Anger flared within him. He eyed the blade pressed against his cheek, noticing the hand holding it never wavered. The stranger remained calm and self-assured. Whoever he was, he wasn’t some rank amateur.

“Considering you snuck up behind me, yeah,” he replied. “I find it very hard to believe you want an honest fight with me.”

“So you feel I’m a dishonest person because your guard doesn’t exist? I suppose I should take insult with your implication. Yet, I can at least guess why you think the way you do.” The man chuckled. “Then again, it hardly matters now, does it? There’s only one truly important question requiring an answer.”

“And that is?” Fen asked. His heart continued to hammer away. He tried to inhale several deep, calming breaths instead of gulping in as much air as he could. His chest constricted a little, and he wanted, needed to keep his breathing under control. Sweat beaded on his forehead, threatening to obscure his vision. Why was he reacting like this? Had his opponent poisoned his blade beforehand? He eased his sword from its sheath.

“Are you ready for this?”

“I guess I am.”

Fen stepped to his left and spun away from his opponent in an effort to dodge a blow to the head. At the same time, he attempted to bring his sword arm into a better defensive position. In those seconds, he wished he carried his sword at his side rather than on his back. His arm ached from the awkward angle at which he held his weapon.

‘Can’t be helped now,’ he told himself. ‘At least now I know to keep my guard up when I’m here. It really does take all kinds, doesn’t it?’
He brought his sword into a better defensive stance, ready to counter his opponent’s strike.

The other man hadn’t remained idle in those moments. The stranger’s feet slid across the dirt, moving into a different position away from Fen. The air hummed as he swung his sword in a semi-circular arc. Fen crouched down and scrubbed at his eyes, his sweat blurring his vision.

“It appears this is over before it has even begun,” the man said. Was that disappointment and anger in his voice?

“What?”

With his heart racing harder and faster, now in anticipation, Fen scrambled to stand straight so he could face his opponent. His blood pounded in his ears.

“Until we meet again . . . Fen Willows . . .”

The scenery shifted. It rolled like an image losing signal, twisted several times, and turned to static. All of his attention centered on battling his opponent, to prevent the other man from fleeing. They couldn’t stop now. The fight was just starting, and Fen loved a challenge.

“Player endangerment detected. Powering down. Initiating emergency protocol.”

The new voice didn’t register in Fen’s mind right away while the new event unfolded around him. He opened his mouth to retort to the newcomer to the fight. The words failed him.

‘Player endangerment? What the heck is he talking about?’

When the computerized male voice broke through his battle-ready mind, Fen blinked. The scenery dimmed and faded out of sight, the smells fading away. Before everything disappeared, however, Fen caught a hint of his opponent’s golden hair and a flash of silver. Instead of a sunlit sky in a medieval town, he stood in a room of four, light grey metal walls.

The game ended.

Creating a Writing Legacy

Standard

I have to say I feel very blessed and fortunate to be a writer. I have a creative mind that likes to be challenged (at the same time it doesn’t like to be challenged – I can be my own worst enemy). I love taking people and places and just running with wherever the wind takes me while trying to not so sudden with the flow. I don’t want to leave anyone with the feeling of “Wait, where did that come from” when reading my stories.

As a writer, I have a lot to think about. Is this character right for this scene? Is this scene in the right place? How many missing and misspelled words do I have? Traditional publishing or self-publishing?

And most of important all, is this something worth publishing, worth creating a community over?

You see, community means a lot to me. I keep mentioning that I started out in fanfiction. I’m wearing that badge quite proudly, even though I’ll cringe at some of the horrors I wrote, stories not up to my usual standards of quality.

Here’s why I wear that fanfiction author badge proudly and how it connects to community: From the moment I published my first story to a Transformers fanfic depository, I became a member of that community. The stories came from the child within me who had been sad to see it go and connecting with people close to me in age who felt the same way.It didn’t matter I wrote about two characters most people never touched. That was the actual beauty of it because I brought something unique to that group. I developed friendships. I expanded into other fanbases and made more friends. Friends have come and gone, some have stayed in my life as I have theirs. They, and the readers of my stories, have given me a lot of courage and support in my writing endeavors. I haven’t always been the greatest person, but more people than not have stuck with me, even when I’ve been at my worst. (To those people, thank you so much for continuing to support me, and I sincerely, humbly apologize for my appalling behavior.)

This is very important to me now, as I take those steps into publishing my own material. As a writer, I’m building two different kinds of legacies. Naturally, one will be a financial legacy. Every dollar earned will support me on daily things, like food and bills. I won’t deny the financial legacy is appealing.

The other legacy is that of building a community. For every person who reads one of my stories and likes what they’re reading, they’re sharing those stories with others. How they see me is important. What’s more important, though, is how I interact with them, how I treat them, and how I inspire them to keep building on the notions of creativity and community.

And, yes, some of this is my ego talking. I would love to change someone’s life through a story I’ve written. I would love to inspire people to start taking pen to paper or to open that Word document and just start writing because they’re so completely immersed in the story. I would love to see people come together because of a story I’d written. For as appealing as the financial legacy I want to create it is, creating a community based on camaraderie, creativity, and inspiration, and helping people to find something in common that they love outstrips the financial appeal by far.

I want my writing legacy to be one that’s positive and encouraging. When I’m gone, I want my readers to be able to say, “Yeah, she was kinda bitchy sometimes, but, damn, she sure was nice to us more often than not.”