“Shall we?” Vlanders’ steps livened, seeming to tiptoe on air. He spun into a gracious bow, sweeping a hand low in a quick-changing transformation to human. As he straightened, an opened V-neck top and black pants adorned his lean form. Not his normal color choice, Mierna soon saw why when Talia turned about with a matching dress.

Mierna’s jaw must have dropped when the two came together in an impressive but aggressive style of spicy salsa. She eyed the half-cut dress draping over one leg that lifted alongside his thigh. A firm grip allowed him to slide her along the floor, then turn abruptly and catch her from tipping the other way. They were fast. High heels thrust between his legs while he grape-vined around her in a tango combination. To help create a beat, the faeries started thumping the stone floor but gradually picked up the tempo.

Soon, Mierna began to realize the reason behind their dancing. She picked up on movements that were meant to throw the partner off-beat. First it was Vlanders out-stepping Talia, then the other way around. In all, the two seemed perfect in their performance. They clutched and spun, swayed and twirled, each trying to out-perform the other. At last, Vlanders spun Talia out but caught her hand to change direction back toward him. A heel slipped, and for a brief moment Vlanders reveled in silent victory as she fell.

Mierna clutched at her necklace while the rest of the faeries scattered around the room. Some of them already lay lifeless, a mere shell of their former selves. The glow of energy pulsed within these mouths until they closed tightly to contain their catches, retracting back to the head somewhere within the mess of tangled arms. It grew larger, cracking the glass along the sphere. At least, it shattered beneath the weight.

Vlanders dashed in front of Mierna and Wexel to shield them from the explosion of tiny fragments. The chamber was a mess of scrambling bugs and broken glass. Even the chamber’s floor, reinforced with metal over stone, groaned beneath the mound of pressure continuing to expand. Little by little, the three were forced to keep their distance in the remaining, untouched space.

“How in the world..?” Mierna could scarcely believe how large it grew in just a few minutes. It did not even resemble the creature she remember seeing at the circus. That, at least, seemed more like a living thing. This one appeared to be a fungus that took over everything it touched. She turned toward the sound of door sliding shut. The same was done on the other side of the room. Those still trapped took to the air, only to be slapped back down by a whipping tentacle. Terrified, Mierna cringed at their screeching cries when hitting forges or ripping wings across jagged stalagmites in the room’s corners. “Vlanders, how do we do this?”

“We?” Vlanders’s hushpuppy eyebrows lowered in a look that read, You know how this works. As the creature continued expanding along the floor and upper walls, the púca gave a weary sigh and noticed her fingers clamping around the necklace.

“It’s all going to come to me, isn’t it?” Mierna started to tear up, but a hand over hers seemed to draw back the seeping fear.

“Your particular magic is one that no one can take away, not even Nightmare Incubus.” Vlanders comforted her with a gentle smile and tapped a finger over her charm. It glowed a brief moment. “No matter what happens, I shall be with you… always.”

He held both hands out as he backed away with that jester-like grin never diminishing. As she and Wexel watched, he gracefully turned to face their arch nemesis.

“Come to dance for me, my little púca?” the voice of Bashton taunted.

“Indeed, I shall!” He took an excited bow. “But first, to business!”

Mierna could not understand the words that followed, nor could Wexel decipher any of it. Whatever exchanged between the two was meant for their ears only. However, he made sure to flash her a warm smile while continuing to elude capture by stepping in beat with several flicks of the slithering arms. He moved with ease, almost reflecting a style of ballet while the massive body moved in around him. For the next few moments, it seemed the creature enjoyed his little performance. It was only as he slowed did several tentacles block Mierna’s view.

That familiar glow from those Venus-fly-trap mouths caused alarm, though she could not be sure until they pulled aside to confirm her worse fear.

Updated look at a scene from the book. I got it down to the basic model shapes, so I can go back and illustrate overtop. 🙂 Selecting the best shots for the book.

The Daydream WIP

When Vlanders plays with a random daydream that floats down, he takes it to the next level.

Eastern Clan Progress

Created using Blender 3.0 – looking gorgeous! I could just finish it off by illustrating the rest of the details. I’m just experimenting at the moment and seeing how far I can take this. Started to place down grass particles… I just tried it on a small patch first.. would need adjusting.. but then again not everything would be grass… there’s supposed to be a circular driveway and stone wall surrounding the property as well.

Creation Wisdom’s Home

The novels are finally getting some decent art… 🙂 I’ve been meaning to build Wisdom’s home from the Eastern Clan, main dwelling. It just keeps growing and growing. Still a lot to do. My goal is to update the website once I get some good images.

Created using Blender.

Escaping the Sphere

Snippet from “Mierna & the Keeper of Nightmares”

At a high-pitched screech of something raking against glass, she turned to find Wexel dragging his nails down the side. She quickly covered her ears.

He halted and glanced over at her with scrunched-up nose. “This thing won’t even dent!” He gaze traveled around the globe, searching for a door but there was none. It was as though the opening they came through had completely meshed with the globe itself. “If we could roll this thing out, but it’s stuck in the floor.”

Both attempted to throw their weight up against the side, if just to get it to shift. However, the sphere would not budge.

“We have to keep trying.” Mierna backed up as much as space allowed, then charged the wall with all her might. Her shoulder hit first, the impact causing the sphere to jiggle, but nothing more. She tried again, with Wexel timing a flying kick. The impact jolted the tracking system holding it in place. Something clicked underneath and the globe started to rotate. “Was that it? Did we do it?”

Excited, Mierna kept up with the pace of the spin at a brisk walk.

“Uh… we’re not really going anywhere.” Wexel trotted in place with perplexed expression.

“Maybe it needs more speed.” Mierna began to jog, each step increasing the the number of rotations. She could almost hear Vlanders laughing at their attempts and wondered what he would have done in this situation. From below, they heard the creak of device straining to lock the sphere in place. “I think it’s working!”

By now, Wexel was scrambling to keep up. “Uh, you sure?” he huffed.

A snap of metal causing the púca to lose his balance, stumbling over his hooves into Mierna. At this point the globe was spinning at an unusually high rate that even Mierna could not keep up. The blunder, however, caused both of them to topple over one another. With the pull of the rotating sphere too great, they found themselves being carried around its interior like an amusement park ride. This offset the sphere from its track and began hurling down the corridor at a rapid pace.

It crashed into the two dung beetle faeries, who, after hearing much clanging and banging, came to investigate. Their lumbering sways and hefty armored shells were no match. Bug juice plastered along its clear surface as they were squashed against the corridor’s walls while the globe kept going. Bits of rock shattered on impact. Long stalactites hung like jail bars around certain corners, meant to help steer the globes away from sheer drop-offs. This, however, did little to deflect the path of the fast-approaching sphere. It burst through, flying over the cliff’s edge and down into darkness with Mierna and Wexel’s screams echoing into the depths.

It was a set of sharp ridges along the opposite cliff face that cracked the outer surface. Mierna could see nothing in the smothering darkness, but felt each hit as it continued falling. Uneven surface shifted beneath her fingers until at last they broke through a thin ceiling of draping fabric that cushioned their their breaking cell. At last, the cracked sphere burst open, releasing its two captives into a nest of pillows and soft bedding below. There came an unmistakable sound of glass shattering across stone floor.

All was still, save for the heavy breathing of two dizzy individuals trying to come to their senses.

Map of the Fae

For second book “Mierna & the Keeper of Nightmares”

Starts October 13th -17th, 2021. Book One in the Mierna Mystery Series.
Get it FREE!

Creating a Faerie Palace

Creating a palace designed for a faerie world filled with dreams and nightmares seemed like a daunting task. I’m no architect by any means! Thankfully, 3D software like Blender helps with this and I was able to build something that came pretty close to how I imagined it might look.

So far, this is the base model with a few textures. It’s not perfect, but the plan is to be able to rotate it in order to gain several nice shots in different areas of the structure where Mierna and her friends might visit. Then I will illustrate overtop of these to really bring it to life!

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