The snow had run red with blood. Lore wrinkled her nose at the coppery scent that hung in the quiet air, as her horse picked its way carefully down from the treeline. Broken bodies and shattered weaponry lay around the small valley. The battle had been hard fought, and barely won. Farther off a large grey cat padded amongst the dead, stopping now and then to investigate.

“I don’t think this is a good idea.”

Tien tended to think in pictures rather than speech, but Lore was so used to it, she didn’t have to work too hard to grasp what he was saying.

“It might not be a good idea, but we have to at least look for him.” Lore replied out loud.

Halfway across the field, Lore spotted the remnants of Bentor’s banner. Dismounting, she pushed and pulled at bodies around it, hope fighting with dread.

“If he isn’t here, I don’t know what we will do. And if he is, I don’t what to think about that either.” Lore muttered half to herself as she continued her search. The long grey cloak she wore quickly becoming covered in mud and worse as she hunted for a sign of Bentor.

Tien worked his way towards her and began to help in his own catlike way. Using claws and teeth as carefully as he could to hunt through the corpses. Not that the dead would feel anything, but there was a certain solemnity and care given.

“For honest sake Tien. You could do that a lot better if you weren’t a cat.”

Golden eyes regarded Lore for a long moment, before the cat dissolved into a rather unremarkable teenaged boy. Unremarkable except that his eyes were the bright unfathomable yellow of a predator.

“Its warmer,” was Tien’s unapologetic reply.

Picking something up out of the half frozen mud, he rubbed it clean  against his leg before holding it up for her to see.

“Bentor’s insignia.”


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Writing is hard to do!

I know, I know. I’m sure a zillion people have whined, whimpered or plain out cried those words. Praying to all the gods above to make that magical moment happen. When your brain goes ‘woohoo’ and everything just ends up on that page.

But I’m finding it really tough to grab the inspiration out of thin air, after a full 8 hours on my ‘yawn’ real job. Soul draining as it is some days.

This week I decided to get all feng shui. And my co-workers spent yesterday thinking I was crazy as I took out time to move my desk and all my stuff in circles until I got exactly like I wanted. It was worth it though. While work is still work, today I felt different. Cosy? More in control?

While I’m a total newb about feng shui, I found it interesting that only a few changes made my work day feel more comfortable. So this weekend I think I’m going to put aside some time to move around my writing spot. I’ve read tons of articles about making your writing place creative and inspirational, however I’ve never really tried that. My experience in moving my office space at work around has made me a believer.

How about you all? Any neat things you’ve discovered that makes the hard part of writing a little less angsty?

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A Short Story by Claudia Lane.

Hot.  That was the only word he had for it.

Stepping out onto the sidewalk from the coolness of the cafe, the blast of solid heat near drove the breath from his lungs.Turning to head south down Main St. , he ambled. Even at such a  speed, perspiration  beaded and coiled down his back and beneath his armpits. His khaki shirt clinging and soaking  through with the  smell of sweat and age oozing out of his pores in a matter of seconds.

Even so, he flashed a habitual smile at  each of the girls who walked past him. Their lean tanned legs flashing enticingly beneath short summer shirts. Blond hair swaying against their backs as they moved past him in graceful patterns. Like an tank of  exotic fish  they flitted across the streets and sashayed by in a timeless dance, a  parade of youth and beauty. Homage to the fiery sun above.

There was no response to his efforts at friendliness. Such immortality couldn’t deign to acknowledge the  gap toothed  greetings he laid upon their altar, as he made his way along with shaky limbs and gnarled feet that were curled like knotted wood inside his leather sandals. He was nobody to them. Detritus left behind from another era. Set aside and forgotten,  garbage abandoned behind the garage.

The tap of his burled cane was steady and slow. A plunking  metronome that marched alongside him. His arthritic hand knotted about the cane’s handle, a constant companion. His only friend. One that held him steady and upright as he passed through each day and night. Moving along the steaming streets of heat and life, that buzzed by him in an ever increasing pace, saying to him alone. “ No time!”

They  sent their warning to him, knocking inside his head, circling around the inside of his skull making the words louder and louder with each echoing pass,  until he could barely think over their haunted screams.  “ No time!”

For decades, he had marched these roadways, lived and breathed the elixir of life. He had laughed, loved, lusted, mourned and lost. Yet, he had no time. His body creaked and moaned with the demands of a sedate walk. His mind caved under the simple effort  of remembering the day, or the phone number of his daughter.

The end was near. He could feel the sluggishness of his blood, the slow wait for nerves to send their commands to stringy wasting muscles.  Rheumy eyes watered, as he looked ahead into that narrowing tunnel. Pausing, he took a pained breath,  and waited.

Another sensation  slowly began to invade his dimming senses.  A  breath of heated air brushed along his sweat soaked clothing, and caressed his time worn flesh with an invitation that pressed tightly against him.  Whispering, “Look! Listen!.”

Paradise  beckoned.  A grim gated entry barred against his infirmity had been pried open just a crack. The barely seen alcove  beyond it gleaming with peaceful green and the murmur of falling water that splashed its promise of vitality into the hungry garden that drank deep and without apology. Wishing itself upon him with a siren’s call.

He took another step.

Hot. That was the only word he had for it.

*Copyright Claudia Lane 2012

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Kindle Single threw down the gauntlet. Dare I pick it up?


Many years ago, I used to dabble in writing. Some where along the way, I put away my pencil and paper, and decided to ‘grow up’. Went and got an education in a useful skill, and spent the next 20 years in the IT world.  I always wanted to go back to writing, however with kids, marriage, work and all the half a million things that you need to do to make it through the day, I never seemed to get around to it.

Then I read about Kindle Singles program. I though hey, no I have no excuse. A book was always too daunting for me. But a smaller length, maybe I could do that.

So I dusted off a tale I’ve had sitting around for the better part of a year, a whole dozen paragraphs so far. I’d work on it here and there over the last few months, but I really had no drive to get anywhere.

Last night, I wrote 1500 words. I know that’s hardly note-worthy for the pros. But for me, it was amazing.

So then I decided that I needed a blog to keep myself on course.

Here’s to the next 1500 words. Off I go, wish me luck!

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