Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Cal Endria's Journal--Entry #1: Sowing Seeds

 Note: Today is the beginning of a new topic. When Cal Endria left on his final journey into the Iron Mountains, he brought his journal with him. When he was lost, his eyewitness account of the founding of Calendria was lost with him. With the unexpected recovery of the journal, Calendrian historians have gained a new insight into the origins of the village.

Here is the first entry in the journal. Let's travel back to the beginning.

26 October, 4169

Sketch of Cal Endria's Journal by Emily Hurst Pritchett

Another day at sea, and I am restless. I have started this journal to chronicle what I hope to be a new phase of my life, and hopefully that of my descendants.

Of late, I have grown tired of life at sea, and especially of life under Captain Burt Sharky. As first mate, I must ensure his orders are carried out. Perhaps I am becoming too soft hearted, but these days it seems that he has become exceedingly cruel and vicious.

Only yesterday, we sighted a merchant ship on the horizon. The two masted vessel was under full sail, running ahead of us at a quick pace, The lookout on Deathwind soon sighted her and the pursuit was on. The captain of our prey was a skilled sailor, if his maneuvers were any indication. However, in spite of the merchant's skill, the fleet steadily gained.

It was not long before they were within range of our cannon. I gave the order to fire. Our lads are chillingly good in a fight, and this one was no contest. our first volley raked their deck, and cut through both masts. Once they came crashing down the ship was virtually immobile.

Deathwind and Carrion came up on either side of the disabled ship. the merchant crew tried to put up a fight, but we are battle hardened and merciless. It was not long before what was left of the crew capitulated.

Usually, we would plunder and scuttle the captured ship, and maroon the crew on a small sandbar or island. This tactic did not offer much hope of survival, but it gave some. However this time Sharky had something different in mind.

"Kill them," he hissed. "Kill them all."

"But there are women and children aboard," I said. "Surely they can be spared."

"Do as I tell ye or I'll disembowel all ye lubbers!" Sharky barked. "From this day forth, we shall leave no one alive!"

And so, there was no choice but to carry out the Captain's orders.

If I could pinpoint one moment in time when I noticed a change in the Captain's mood, it seemed to be when he "acquired" a ring with a blood red stone. The ring is not natural. I do not know how to explain it, but it feels evil.

I have spoken to some other members of the Pirate Nation who I believe to be of a similar mind. One of these, Barko Weatherbee, has taken it upon himself to search out a habitable area for settlement.
Our plan is to find a suitable bit of land, take our families, and leave the Nation to form our own farming and fishing community. There are some among us who are optimistically looking forward to our new life. I, on the other hand, am concerned about Sharky. He will never let us go off on our own, at least not without a price in return.

That is my burden. I must develop a plan, engineer some sort of deal, that will entice Sharky. It must appeal enough to his black and greedy heart to convince him to let us go, rather than kill us all. 
If I can accomplish that, and if Weatherbee can find a suitable patch of ground, then we may well and truly have a chance to live out our lives as free and honest men, although I fear we shall never fully escape Sharky's evil shadow.

My watch is ending, so I shall end here. Perhaps in the morning, after a few hours' rest, a solution to our dilemma will come to me. I pray that it does.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

A Writer's Week #125: Meeting Friends Old & New

 This week, I attended my first two shows in many years. Last Sunday, I was at the Connecticut Renaissance Faire and yesterday I took part in the Connecticut Book Festival 2023 held by the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association

I was a little nervous as I arrived at the CT Renaissance Faire on Sunday, as I'd never been to this venue. I was in Lebanon, CT (mid-eastern part of the state). In the past I've always stuck to the western part--Fairfield and Litchfield Counties for the most part.

Happily, it exceeded my expectations! Everyone was really nice. I had a lot of questions about myself and my books, and there was a lot of interest. I had a great time meeting people and talking about my books, books in general, and the love of reading.

Oh yes, I was also able to sell quite a few books. I hope everyone enjoys them.

I also had a great time hearing the shouted orders and huzzahs emanating from the stall next to mine. It was the home of the Get Baked Potato Company. As the day went on, the line to purchase their wares stretched in front of my stand and down the main thoroughfare. At first, I was worried that the line would block my customers. It turned out, though, that it was great for business. People waiting in line got to come over and take a look at my table. Some bought on the spot, while a couple others returned later in the day.

Yesterday, I attended the Connecticut Book Festival 2023. Once again, I had a wonderful time talking with festival attendees and getting to know some of my fellow Connecticut-based authors. I was able to reconnect with old friends Stephanie Robinson and Jessica Haight who have been generous champions of the Deliverers over the years. I was also able to meet Christopher S. Carlone and his helper, Michelle Baird. Michelle is a teacher and editor. I had visited her class way back when my first book was released. It was great catching up with her.

Stephanie Robinson & Jessica Haight

Christopher S. Carlone & Michelle Baird

I also met Christian author Melvin Douglas Wilson, two time liver transplant survivor and new author John Hoffman, and YA writer Billie Kowalewski.

Melvin Douglas Wilson


All in all, it was a great first week back on the road. I am grateful for all the people I've met and the friends I've connected with, old and new.

In between shows, I've managed to write about 3,000 words of Book 4: Sparkling Mist of Time. I am hoping to release it in February or March next year. I'll keep you in the loop in my next Writer's Week post. Peace.