Stuck Forever in a Too Small World

 

When we were lucky enough to go to DisneyWorld, my family and I had an agreement. We weren’t going on the It’s a Small World ride. We didn’t care that it was quintessential Disney. We’d heard stories of it getting stuck, and if there’s one ride where you wouldn’t want to chance that… So we didn’t do it.

A few years ago, budget cuts threatened to take my job from forty hours a week to thirty. It was decided in April—when I came back to work in July, I’d be at 30 hours a week. I was terrified. I loved my job, needed the schedule that gave me the same days off as the kid—I didn’t know how we’d survive.

Life, though, went on. I had to do stuff, not hide under my bed. Music helped with that, but at my most terrified, all my songs but one stressed me out more. So I listened to that one song over and over. For weeks, I listened to Adam Lambert sing “Time for Miracles.” People would stand at my desk for one reason or another, realize they’d heard that song three times, give me a funny look and move away…

Eventually I was able to expand a little bit. I made a “HALP!” playlist ten songs long—seven other songs and “Time for Miracles” three times over.

Introducing Burning Bright

 

The demons come, devouring life and light. Armed with sword and spell, Keepers meet the scourge. Above nations, beyond the law, to be a Keeper is to hold power–but power always comes with a price.

Introducing Burning Bright, the first book of the Seize the Fire trilogy.

 

Burning Bright, Chapter One

by KD Sarge

“Keeper-Apprentice Kunihiro Takai,” Ume said, “well done. Harmony herself, Lady of Harvests, would be pleased to call this place home. She might even bring the twins, Binder and Unwinder, which holy children—”

“Little thanks to you.” Hiro pushed a book on the shelf nearest him more in line with its fellows. There. The little library was perfect. The kitchen behind him sparkled. The porch was neat, the garden weeded, Eshan’s bedroom freshened…he never should have let it get so bad. But now Eshan would never know.

“I did my part,” Ume said, flopping into the big chair Eshan curled up in on winter evenings. “I trotted up here and warned you the healers were letting him go today.” She flung long brown legs over the arm as she sprawled. “And when you asked for help, I told you. Demons to be defeated? Drunkery to be debauched? I’m in. Cooking, cleaning, sewing, minding? Not this wench. Especially if I’m not allowed to use magic.”

When the Muse Takes Over

 

Like many writers, I haven’t always had the friendliest relationship with my muses.

Actually, that’s a very diplomatic (and less than honest) way to put it. I’ve been known to throw bricks at them. I have threatened them with fire, called them obscene names, and sang a certain unmentionable song from a certain DisneyWorld ride at them over and over and over until they coughed up a scene I wanted.

Yes, it’s childish, but they started it.

Get Real, Horatio

In Tucson, we get the monsoon. That goes something like this.

“Ugh, it’s hot. And bright. And–wait, where did that cloud come from? Oh, it’s coming this way. Maybe we’ll get some–“

And that’s when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side. FWOOSH!! from the other two clouds you didn’t even know were there.

Okay, it’s maybe not that sudden. But if you’re walking north, especially if you’re listening to your Walkman personal music device, you could totally get blindsided by a storm from the south. Once I was in a house and it was pouring rain on one side–and the sun was shining on the other. You could not even see the clouds from the windows on the west side of the house.

Other times, it’s deceptive. The clouds start building around lunch time, and you’re keeping an eye out the window, thinking of the glorious storm to come, watching those cumulonimbus climb higher and higher…and then nothing. One spectacular sunset, but no rain, and by ten the entire clear sky is staring down at you going “gotcha.”

But as soon as you decide that if you see it coming, it’s not actually coming–then it really gets you.

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate IV

Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.

But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.

Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.

It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.

Part I

Part II

Part III

 

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate IV

A Serial Story by KD Sarge

 

In the daytime a fire was just more light, but at night it could draw things from unguessable distances, so the group had slept cold. By the time Flame helped Ryahled into the camp, though, a tiny fire blazed fiercely. A small kettle of water sat in the middle of it, sweet herbs drifting in it. Tolor came from the fire to take Ryahled’s arm.

“I’m beginning to wonder,” he said with a soft … Continue reading

My Familiar

In 2006, my neighbor’s feral cat adopted me. He was a lovely black kitty, and no one but me could touch him. I named him Ravenclaw and called him my familiar. He was my pal and I was his human.

Yesterday I noticed my fuzzy buddy didn’t seem to feel well. Today I took him to the vet, and then, astonishingly, at not even ten years old, I had to let him go.

Vacation Brain

 

Whoops. Guess who totally forgot she was supposed to post yesterday? I blame vacation brain.

Lucky, lucky KD Sarge is in Sedona, Arizona this week. It’s been glorious. I’ve climbed rocks and gotten sunburned and seen the Grand Canyon and fallen into adventure (otherwise known as Oak Creek. Fortunately none of my falling was anywhere near the Grand Canyon. That is a looooong way down!)

I’ve learned something this vacation. I’ve learned that I need to take more vacations.

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate III

Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.

But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.

Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.

It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.

Part I

Part II

 

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate III

A Serial Story by KD Sarge

 

Ryahled had found the campsite she’d planned to use. The group was setting camp already, with an eye to defense rather than comfort. Tolor never was dumb. Flame dropped into the middle of the group; all but Ryahled grabbed for weapons. Flame smirked at the dwarf brothers.

“Nice watch you keep.”

“Sneaking elf,” Satak grumbled. Okon snorted and turned away. Tolor stalked to glare down at Flame.

“Where in the hells have you been?” he demanded. “Ryahled said you were off chasing a smell. Do you think we have the time—”

“You’d better make the time,” Flame snapped, her eyes searching out Lory in her tent—the only tent—which Bran carried. The woman liked … Continue reading

5 Reasons Writing is Like a Mason Jar Salad

I’m on a journey to get healthier. It started earlier this year with a cheap pedometer that wasn’t very accurate. Now I have a Fitbit Zip, log everything I eat, and actually spend time thinking about how to get more plant matter into the mix. I’ve always loved mason jars, so the leap to mason jar salads was a short one. I took my first to work today.

Mason Jar Salad

Okay, really nice, KD, but what’s with the writing comparison? I’ll tell you.

1) I can throw anything in there I want. I’ve seen a lot of variations. Some people put salsa in their mason jars first, then everything else to make a Chipotle-copy burrito bowl. Some are making normal-ish tossed salads with creamy dressings in first. One person (at least) is making “noodles” with zucchini and a “spiralizer” whatever that is. The variety is amazing, and fascinating, and I’m looking forward to trying a ton of cool stuff.

Kittens and Books

Yesterday was a rough day for me. I hurt my knee just walking and had a hard time getting my steps in. I discovered a mistake I made that could have cost my school thousands of dollars.† I came out of work to a flat tire with two nails in it–and the other front tire had a nail too, it just hadn’t gone down because the nail was blocking the air. Both had damage too near the sidewalls to be repaired.

$228 later, the kind gentlemen at Discount Tire had put me in their long queue to put two brand new tires on my car. As I sat down to wait the estimated ninety minutes, the pharmacy called to say that my daughter’s prescriptions weren’t covered.* Did I want to pay cash?