Author Feature: Devri Walls

It’s been a while since I posted anything out of the ordinary on The Ink Owl, so here goes!

I was at a local Barnes & Noble, a national book store for those out of the country, with my boys. Just inside the door there was a table set up with a stack of books, dragon statue, cards, posters, pictures, and someone typing behind their laptop.

My heart jumped a bit when I realized I was seeing an author’s book signing event! With all the obsession I have about writing, story sharing, and getting published I’ve never actually been to a bookstore when an author is present and signing. And I have a parent that works in publishing! ūüôā Love you dad.

Her name was Devri Walls, and she’s a fantasy writer, published author. It was unreal. In a sort of daze, with my mind telling me this was happening, I started talking with Devri about her stories, Venators: Magic Unleashed.

Both of my kids were about to lose interest in record time (they’re three and five), but Devri pulled out a giant cookie and offered it to them as my oldest, Ira, began asking her about the stone dragon on her table.

In less time than it took for me to take the cookie for the boys, Devri was pulling us all into a tale of a young girl that had a magical stone eye that could help her see what her pet dragon was doing.

I could see the cogs working in my son’s imagination as he soaked up every word. My own thoughts were on all the countless stories floating ever present above my eyes (to be anatomically correct). Sadness colored each one as I longed to be the one across the table sharing my story, signing books, being published.

We thanked Devri and then both of my boys disappeared into the stacks of books looking for Star Wars everything.

One day, I thought to myself as I passed rows and rows of Crichton, Rowling, King, Wells, and others.

“One day,” I said to myself as I let the bookstore draw me in obscuring the front of the store.

One day, that will be me. I’ll have a printed book in hand, smiling, wearing the stress of years of work and cramped fingers that is a printed book.

It was a hard moment to reflect on, it’s something I’ve wished for for a quite a while. But other dreams, goals, and challenges have taken precedence. This Spring I was offered a position as a secondary health science educator at a local high school. It’s the career I’ve dreamed of, but never expected to obtain. Now I find myself planning anatomy lessons, attending teacher training seminars on classroom management, working nights at the hospital, being a present parent and husband and feeling excitedly stressed about all of it.

So writing has been pushed between the cracks. I find myself pulling out my phone an jotting thoughts down here and there, but it must wait. That oh so desired book has been placed back on the shelf, waiting to be pulled out and read all the way through.

As I walked the aisles I felt this overwhelming desire to share these moments and thoughts. I found myself suddenly in front of Devri again and I was talking about my own experiences with writing, and this blog. With a knowing smile Devri told me about her own challenges she’s faced getting these books out to the world.

“Don’t give up, push forward, keep writing,” she said with a nod.

So that’s what I’m doing, with everything else. (I typed that with a chuckle.)

Here is to hope, the future, and to a new author friend I’ve made.

From her website: “Devri Walls is an international best selling author. She¬†lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband, two children¬†and one adorable little mutt. Writing¬†in all things fantasy, she¬†would do just about anything for a working magic wand.”

Personally she was one of the more personable people I’ve met and for any Meridian Idaho writers out there, a great writing resource.

You can visit Devri’s website here, it’s quite the place to explore and learn.

-M.E. InkOwl

P.S. If you’re an aspiring author, writer, or poet out there on the web looking to having your writing promoted, feel free to message me on my contact page. I’d love to pass the kindness onward.

Self-Love: A Beginning

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Stupid cowlick-

Do I always walk like that?

Yeah, I just said that.

I’m running late, again.

¬†Shoot, what’s their name again?

I forgot to get the trash cans off the street.

Did I really just forget that meeting?

Yes, I really just screwed this up.

. . . I guess I can start fresh tomorrow.

-M.E. InkOwl

 

A Game of Stone and Blood

Adonius look around the great hall in silence, willing the assembly to listen. Around him Lords from around the vast realm of Darkwell bickered with one another, casting insults and throwing blame upon all those who opposed them.

We descend into madness, he thought, looking at his advisors and their lesser-born. They all shifted uncomfortably in their seats, watching the masses heave and roll. Their group numbered twenty, and like a calm, in a series of rapids, they were present and yet separate from the gathered elves.

My brother has lost his hold on these wolves. There will be blood upon the stones of this hall by nightfall,¬†he thought fear growing in his assuredness. He signaled for D’Trik, the captain of his guard to his side. As his advisors parted Adonius could see others of his alliance in the crowd sharing his same thought.

His brother, Lord Leviathan was already signaling for his advisors to depart. They were secreting themselves in twos and threes through the screaming crowd.

“My lord, how may I be commanded?” D’Trik spoke, eager for his lord to give the word.

Adonius followed a rather rambunctious lot that was making their way to the Emperor’s dais. At their head was the young Lord Dassariot. The Emperor himself was noticeably absent along with his Empress. They had kept the assembly on edge for hours now and it looked as if all the Lords of Darkwell would be waiting even more.

“Dassariot,” he hissed, causing D’Trik to turn back to the crowd, “We must leave before that Usurper gains the crowds attention. Tell our¬†men to leave immediately.”

D’Trik turned to the nearest of his men at arms and as one the soldiers moved. Around them, the crowd parted, too focused on what was happening at the head of the hall to care about Adonius and his party.

Ahead of them, the assembly door stood open and unguarded.

Even the guards have been pulled into this, he thought, picking up his pace, so it has begun, the fracturing on Darkwell.

Behind them, voices rose to a clamor as Dassariot’s men cleared the steps to the dais. Adonius looked around at his group stretched thin and winding between screaming groups.

Ahead of him, the doors were only a stone’s throw away. More screams filled the hall as the crowd began to chant Dassariot’s name.

Nearly there, Adonius hoped, as the first of his men passed under the aged black stone arch.

“DASSARIOT! DASSARIOT! DASSARIOT!” the crowd called.

Adonius looked back into the room as he stepped from the hall into the antichambers and passageway beyond.Half of the Lord’s party was still fighting their way out. D’Trik was bringing up the rear as several younger elves were pushed forward.

Behind Adonius, his brother called to him, “Quickly, Adonius! We must flee this place at once! You fool!”

But Adonius stood his ground, waving his men on.

D’Trik was almost to the door when the imperial guards in their wolf helmed uniforms materialized by either side of the archway.

“CLOSE THE HALL AND BAR THE DOORS!” rang Dassariot’s high tenor voice. Adonius made eye contact with D’Trik as his soldier realized he was too late. Horror struck the younger elves began broke into a sprint. More guards flooded in before the archway and one side of the doorway closed.

“No!” yelled Adonius as he saw the guards draw their swords. D’Trik’s face bobbed in the crowd, resignation calmly settling over his features. He nodded to his lord and then turned away.

“Adonius you fool! Run!” Leviathan was pulling on his arms and at his robes as Adonius watched the last of his entourage stop before the Emperor’s guard. Blades flashed and elves fell, their life’s blood spilling onto the stone floor.

And then the door slammed shut, closing Adonius off from the horrid spectacle.

Darkwell had already begun its fall.

-M.E. InkOwl

A Gathering

We alone, stand before the rising tide.

A gathering of those seeking hope.

Before a brewing storm,

We build unions of peace.

For we are of the Light,

Looking forward to a day of freedom.

Our cause is just as we begin the fight,

The only fight worth dying for,

In the name of freedom.

-M.E. InkOwl

 

 

 

The Southern Wastes

Photo by Todd McKinley

How came we to this land, so cursed and scaled by death,

From paradise were we flung,

Out into a world of pain.

But we grew from the spite we were fed,

In the heat of an infinite sea of sand we founded our empire.

And from our sentence of death, did our forces gather in life.

Between rock and stone, heat and light, did we bind ourselves.

For we are not mere mortal beings

We do not bow beneath the eyes of all seeing gods.

We were there in the beginning,

And it will be by our hands that the end will come.

By the fierce shadow of Ignoctis do we rise,

To bring the darkness,

To end this reign of light.

Here in the wastes of Sartoria.

-M. E. InkOwl

The Occulta

Photo by Todd McKinley

Sybil awoke to the sounds of birdsong. It was a strange sensation, almost foreign.

How long have I been surrounded by dead stone?

She opened her eyes and beheld more green than ever has been seen in her short life. A veritable sea of green stretches through the sky, with only traces of blue between reaching limbs.

“Oh!” she exclaimed, unable to keep her feelings contained. She was a child again, a feeling of wonder sinking deep into her mind. Vast trees as big around as entire citadel towers stood all around her, reaching impossible heights.

“I never . . . Not this much,” she felt herself say. Beneath her, the ground sank into a soft spongy moss. She wanted nothing more than to languish in the spot and giggle to herself. But years of learned propriety forced her to stand and take a survey of the situation.

She was alone, or so it seemed. The sounds of trickling water filled the air about her.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” she asked, knowing full well there would be no answer.

Silence.

Somewhere far off a bird took to flight, it’s wing beats almost a scream in the forest.

“Hello?” she called again. Nothing.

Call out with your mind, a sudden thought spoke to her, as if whispered in her ear.

Ask us, anything.

The sudden intrusion into her mind left her speechless, and thoughtless. Her legs faltered and she fell back upon the heap of green moss.

“Who are you?” she blurted out, and then remembered the words she’s heard.

Who are you? Sybil asked, her mind echoing as never before as if her thoughts were being listened to, are you there?

Yes, came the reply, more powerful than she could comprehend, yes we are here.

Sybil looked up at the trees once more and then it dawned on her.

The trees.

Who are you, she asked again feeling her confidence grow.

There was a pause and then the trees reverberated.

We are the Forest Occulta.

-M.E. InkOwl

The Devil’s Tooth


Photo by Todd McKinley

It’s said that when the light was divided from the dark, and land torn from the sea, the Darkness could not contain his jealousy.

In anger, he pulled away from the light with jaws of poisonous death.

The light cast him from the heavens, her scorn white hot and eternally sprung.

With mouth spread wide, the Darkness fell, an ungodly scream born from his throat.

And break he did, with shattered teeth upon the mortal realm.

But one tooth stuck fast to a mountain’s peak, never to move again.

And upon that mount darkness grew, from silver-white tooth divine.

-M.E. InkOwl

Beyond The Forbidden

Photo by Todd McKinley

“Quickly now!” hissed Temporus, his voice clicking with impatience, “you see, there, the Bridge of Agrust!”

Below them, the sea crashed upon jagged rocks, seething white and dark azure foam. Mareth pause for an instant, following two of the Calvarig’s slender arms. Around her, Icarus Worn, and the others stood at the edge of broken coastline. Beyond them, across the swirling bay,¬† foreign stones bespoke safety.

A scattering of islands spanned the divide. Between each a graceful bridge arches from one island to the next.

“The Emperor’s Road,” stated Worn, a note of relief coloring his usually stoic tone.

“We’re close!” said Icarus with a smile. Mud covered his sweaty face, and the dark circles under his eyes showed only a hint of the exhausted they all felt, but they had made it.

“Father should be waiting at the end of that road!” Icarus cheered, starting forward after Temporus. Other beleaguered crewmen took heart at Icarus’s youthful excitement. She watched as bowed heads and wear limbs livened up, and even join in a quiet cheer.

Mareth wanted to share in her companions excitement, but unease rippled within her mind.

Something’s not right, she thought, looking back at the sea, there’s something . . . wrong.

Beyond her then sea moved, roaring in tandem with her deepening fear.

A shadow moved across the noonday sun, and for a moment the feeling left Mareth, that was until she heard the screams.

-M.E. InkOwl

Through a Haunted Glass

Photo by Todd McKinley

What secret lies beneath the sleeping wood?

Where mists of doubt and lies cling to root and stone.

With much stillness, does darkness wait below the silvered surface.

For with the steps of mortal man wake ripples of forgiveness.

Why would the child wake the sleeping giant, to heal it’s mortal wounds,

When would creation fall before the blackness of oblivion?

Which path will you take now? The road lies shatter between each trunk.

From here the Deepening lies Unending.

-M.E. InkOwl