All posts tagged: The Culling Fields

Manuscripts Sitting in a Drawer

So it’s been quiet… It hasn’t been, but I admit I’ve been pretty bad about blogging, so how would you know what insanity has been in my life? 2015 was a dead year in that regard. There was a lot going on behind the scenes, but nothing showing on the surface. Let’s chat a bit about what’s been going on, just between us. The first thing I want to mention is that the sequel to my science-fiction space opera, MAKING SHIVA, is on its final review rounds before an expected March publication. (I’ll post the cover here shortly.) I am anxious to let this one into the world, not only because it marks another advance in dear Mallory’s story, but because it also marks the last of the ‘old books.’ What are the ‘old books’ you ask? Well, many years ago, I got this idea into my head that I was going to be a writer. It was a bit of a lark, but I love books, love them to an embarrassing degree, so when …

A toast for 2013

This was the year everything changed. It started with a Cracked article. Yes, Cracked. Now, Cracked sometimes sneaks in life lessons with their weird history and nerd comedy, and at the beginning of 2013, David Wong of Cracked issued a challenge to his readers: make 2013 the year that you close (warning: Alec Baldwin says mean things in that clip.) No excuses, no bullshit, no tired old lines about how you couldn’t because (insert whatever excuse is your preferred reason for not getting it done here.) No trite promises quickly abandoned, no self-defeating battles with the mirror. 2013 wouldn’t be about what we are, but what we do. He left what up to the reader. Learn a language, a martial art, make a painting, write a book. Learn a tangible skill, create a tangible result, do something. CLOSE. Kick some items off the bucket list, figure out what makes life worth living and DO THAT THING. Not too hard to guess that my vow for 2013 was to finish one of the three books that had floundered …

©2013 Kalen Chock

To Conlang or not to Conlang?

I am a fan of world-building, as anyone who knows me can attest. This stems largely from my first novel (still in the process of being re-written,) called Game of Empire, which was based (as so many fantasy novels of my generation are) on our weekly D&D games. Now, said games were undeniably epic, and the primary DM (my ex-husband, as it happens) was truly a genius at crafting suspense, pacing and riveting, edge of seat excitement. He could reduce grown adults to tears. We thanked him for it. A campaign world for a D&D game doesn’t need need to be fresh and original. In fact, I think you could make the argument that it’s better if it’s not. If a player can hit the ground running with an elevator treatment like ‘My character is an elf from the forests who has left her home to find the magical artifact stolen by a band of orcs in the raid that killed her parents‘ it’s really all to the better. Thanks to Peter Jackson, everyone knows what that …