A Drift of Quills for July 2019
It's July, and time for A Drift of Quills to bring you a joint post. This month our theme is to share one or more pictures that illustrate a person, place, or thing from our work. I'm anxious to see what my fellow Quills have for us. Please be sure to follow the links to find the "rest of the story" for each of them!
Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, is first up today. What have you for us today, Robin?
Robin's site is here.
This recurring theme is one of my favorites! I love sharing with you the images that have inspired my stories (or the images I’ve had to hunt for, trying to match a description!).
I’ve come back to Sherakai’s story—I figure it makes sense since his first book, Blood and Shadow, is currently part of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO). Hosted by Mark Lawrence, author of The Broken Empire series and other books, a total of 300 books are judged by 10 bloggers. Am I nervous? (Gulp!) Mostly, I try not to think about it. There is some serious competition in the running!
Since we already caught a glimpse of things in my previous post about him, I thought I’d share some images from the second book of The Mage’s Gift. In Flesh and Bone, Sherakai receives…
P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, is sure to have some great stuff for us. Well, Parker?
Parker's site is here.
I love illustration and I think it works well for the young reader genre and age. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to flip through a book looking for the pictures, and things haven't changed.
I'm a particular fan of simple sketches. I have a collection of them, some commissioned, some that were done by readers. I think that's something I wish I could do as well, but my sketch art is little more than a series of stick figures ...
And now ... for my thoughts.
I’ve chosen to sprinkle a few pics throughout my post today, all relating to the same part of the storyline from Oathtaker, The Oathtaker Series Volume One.
Before sharing any pics, let me open by saying that while perhaps a bit odd, I’ve always been fascinated by the words we give for groups of animals. Here are just a few great ones:
To the above, I would add a couple I’ve made good use of in my stories, including the words used for a group of vultures, namely, kettle, committee, or wake, depending on what they are up to at the time. Then there is my favorite, which is the word used for a group of crows: a murder. (What a great name for this group of animals!)
In Oathtaker, when Lilith is on her mission to kill the infant twins, she arrives in the City of Light. A murder of crows accompanies her. The following is an excerpt that is edited with the use of ellipses (...) instead of blank spaces, but so that I don’t give away any key details:
Making their way through the streets and byways of the City of Light, the travelers slowed their pace as they neared sanctuary. Crowds meandered from one street vendor’s stall to another, all the while trying to steer clear of the thousands of crows that had descended on the city. Food smells, both savory and sweet, filled the air: roasting lamb, fresh bread, cinnamon sprinkled almonds, sweet fruits, and fresh herbs.
Mara and her friends discover the presence of the murder of crows in the city, and of the dangers they pose, as follows:
“Say, I’m curious, have the crows been over this way?”
Later, Mara travels through the city streets. This is what she saw:
In the center of the city, the vendors remained on alert. Many in the crowd carried things overhead to keep the crows from their faces. Mara couldn’t recall ever having seen the creatures behave quite so aggressively before, but she felt she had a new understanding for why a group of them was known as a murder.
Still later, Velia encounters the creatures yet again:
As she stepped off the veranda, a crow chased at her heels. She danced around it. When she couldn’t get free of the beast, she kicked it with all her might, finding intense satisfaction when it hit the side of the building and fell to the ground. She hoped it never moved again.
It may be wholly wrong of me, but I admit that crows seem evil to me. I'm not sure where that comes from, but I don't even like them hanging around my property. Perhaps they remind me of the old Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds. When I saw that film for the first time, I was just a kid. It was haunting. In any case, I wouldn’t say that I’m exactly afraid of any group of birds, but if I saw a murder of crows coming toward me, I might rethink that position …
We Quills would love it if you shared your thoughts on our pics and stories.