Firebrand's Trailer

Monday, November 12, 2012

Episode #86--Arthur ap Morfudd

The Wheatsheaf

From the moment he set foot in the crowded and noisy ale house, Arthur regretted his decision to follow Margisia.  It wasn't the work he minded--serving ale and food to the endless ranks of customers--merchants, soldiers.  If they had coins, Margisia welcomed one and all.  It wasn't the lowly kitchen duties either; the mountain high stacks of p[ots and cups to wash and re-wash.  Arthur didn't mind working for his room and board under Margisia's roof, such as that was.  They did not lack for food, but room?  He and Sian huddled on the floor in the kitchen, trying to stay warm and quickly falling into exhausted sleep.

But Sian had been right about the woman's profession.  And Sian had been right not to trust her.  

Arthur had even wondered if they would have been better off staying with the slave trader.  Then he saw his friend nimbly dodge another groping hand at his backside.  It seemed it was the same either way.  At least they were still together.  

Arthur paused from his tasks to watch a man enter the smoke-filled alehouse.  There something different about the man.  Different from the merchants and soldiers he usually served.  Arthur immediately recognized the man's dress and adornments.  And the tattoos.  Arthur stroked the hound that had been worked into his skin and caught Sian's attention.

"Sian," he said.  "Have a look at the newcomer.  That table over there."  He had reverted to the tongue of his forebears.  What the Saesneg, the English,  around him called Welsh.  He did not wish to lose that connection to his past, so he and Sian used it whenever possible.

Sian nodded.  The boys spoke a few moments, wondering about the stranger until Margisia's shadow fell on them.

"Lazy lie-abouts!  I give you food and lodging in exchange for work, not for you to wile away time in gossip."  She thrust mugs of ale at Arthur.

He took them as she pointed to a table of merchants a few steps away.  The merchants were well-dressed, no doubt wanting to flaunt their wealth in public.  They were also already well in their cups when Arthur set the fresh mugs in front of them.  He removed the empty cups and began to turn away, when he felt a hand on his forearm.

"You have a pretty mouth, boy," the merchant said, caressing Arthur's arm.

Arthur froze, repulsed by the merchant--his touch, his words.

The merchant's grip grew firmer and Arthur reacted.  He twisted free of the merchant, holding his head proud.  He did not mind the work, but this?  This he would not allow.  He would not bebase himself in that way.

The rest happened so quickly, Arthur could bearly make sense of it.  One instant, Margisia was hissing an order into his ear and the next the newcomer with the tattos was at their side.  Whatever the man's intentions, Arthur knew better than to interrupt the man's lies.  Arthur even bowed his head when the man glared down at him in anger.  He watched, incredulous, as the man pulled out a handful of gold coins and gave them to Margisia.

The man then spun on his heel, barking an order for Arthur and Sian to make haste and follow.

Neither boy hestitated.  They had no belongings to gather.

Sian gripped Arthur's arm as soon as they were outside.  "Have we been rescued from one nightmare for another," he said in their native tongue.

"I might be your worst nightmare," the stanger said, also in Cymraeg.  "My name is Braith."

Arthur was still trembling from the ordeal.  But he was not surprised to hear the same language from the man.  Feeling unclean, he stroked his tattoo again.

"Diolch," he said, never feeling more grateful.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Finding your characters come to life while shopping

Gareth of Orkney works at our local Meijer! Well, at least as I see the character. Same shoulder-length, straight, dark blonde hair. Tied back in a ponytail, with the front strands falling free. Everything about his face was just as I see Gareth when I’m writing. I even got to see him twice while I was shopping. Makes me want to make up excuses to shop there. Oh! I need a pack of gum. Need to go to Meijer, hun!

Seeing that young man, though got me thinking, which prompted me to write this blog. As I was driving home, it was like his spirit was returning to me. His character. I sensed his smile, like when I’m on a roll writing a scene with him and Lin. I sensed him wanted to be with Lin. That’s been too long for him since we’ve been crafting the story.

I realize this third book has been nearly impossible for me to write. It has taken far too long. I think part of it is Lin’s reluctance to relate her love of Gareth with Ris listening. And it’s like she resists me. But with the return of Gareth practically in the flesh—well, neither of us can ignore the issue. If it’s a reminder to me, it must be for her, too. She cared too much for him. Maybe this is a prompt to get us both to take up the story again.

Monday, July 30, 2012 Once Upon a Time Episode 41: Arthur ap Morfudd Once Upon a Time Episode 41: Arthur ap Morfudd: A Jar of Honey   Debra A. Kemp Still singing, Arthur rounded a corner.   He fell silent as he took in the sight before him.   A man on ho...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Arthur ap Morfudd episodes

New one goes live on 7-30-12! Squeaked in with an episode. Too bad I had to miss my other one earlier this month, but it fell during my time at InConJunction. Head-on collision with Doctor Who. But Arthur and Sian are now in London. They are free from the slaver, or are they??? Wiil post the link when I have it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Arthur ap Morfudd episodes

I hope everyone has been enjoying the episodes of Arthur ap Morfudd at the Once Upon a Time collective story. I'm due to get another episode by Sunday and I'm not sure which way to go. I know I need to get young Arthur to London by the end of the episode. But I'm torn. Do I get him to London for an auction, and possibly another character in the collective buying him? Or: have him and his friend Sian escape, and make their way to London on their own.

I got the new Rush studio album today, and they aren't helping me creatively. I am usually inspired by new Rush music.

Leave a comment on what you prefer!

Love and thanks as always for reading,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

FIREBRAND: The Movie another sample

I haven't done anymore work on FIREBRAND: the Movie lately. Reached a point that requires condensing and composite sort of work. Much of Lin's interior thoughts will need to get adapted into dialogue with Dafydd. Some of it can be cut or moved. So, I'm doing the mental work with that right now.

Since the last sample seemed to be a hit, I thought I would post more. This scene isn't in the book at all, but it explains a lot that gets told to Lin towards the end of the book. I coudn't write it into the book because of the 1st person point of view, but the movie will make more sense with it shown.

So here's another scen from FIREBRAND. Enjoy!

Int. Bedchamber - Camelot - day

A royal bedchamber, richly appointed. Large bed, piled with pillows and heavy furs. Tapestries on walls. Chests for clothes. Braziers for warmth and light. Chairs. Side table. On the floor near the bed is a cradle, draped with cloth. A WOMAN, early 20's with auburn hair, in a simple gown kneels over the cradle. Grief stains her face.

A door opens. A MAN, 25 with spun gold hair and clear blue eyes, enters. He wears 5th century period armor. Leather boots, ring mail and a deep red cloak draped over his shoulders. He watches the woman briefly.


Gwenhwyfar? My son?

The woman turns to face Arthur, her hand still on the cradle.


She is dead, Arthur. We had a daughter, not a son. And she died in her cradle. I just got the message from Morgause a few days ago.


Morgause? What does my sister have to do with our daughter?


She came to Camelot while you were gone. She got here just as my labor began. Arthur, she was so helpful. She took charge of the birthing.


She was so wise, and very kind to me. She thought you might be angry to have a daughter rather than a son. And I see she may have been right about you after all.

Arthur stares at his wife. Then at the empty cradle.


Angry? Did you really believe I would be angry to have a daughter?

Gwenhwyfar nods.


And you sent her to Dunn na Carraice with Morgause?


To keep her safe until . . . Until you wanted her.

Arthur crosses the room and kneels beside Gwenhwyfar next to the cradle.


What did you name her?




My love. I would have fought the hounds of hell for our little girl.

CRAWL: 5 years later

Sunday, May 6, 2012 Once Upon a Time Episode 8: Arthur ap Morfudd

There was rebellion in my head when I first tried writing in the later Anglo-Saxon era! Once Upon a Time Episode 8: Arthur ap Morfudd: WORDS OF ANGER Arthur was ten and five the morning he stormed from the cottage, leaving his bowl of porridge on the trestle board half-eat...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Firebrand: The Movie: a sample

Chapter 8 of Firebrand, condensed to screenplay format. Any critiques?

Lin is alone, lying on the stone floor.

LIN 12


I'm sorry, Dafydd. Please come back. Don't leave me alone.

The door to the hut opens and closes. Muffled footsteps are heard crossing the room.


So. Your precious brother has left you to suffer alone. About time the lazy idler returned to his duties. I should have him at the post too, for wasting so much time.


How dare you look at me? have you no manners? Do you not know who i am?

He jabs Lin in the side with the toe of his boot.

LIN 12

I know you, prince.


Why do you not address me properly? Are you not afraid of me?

LIN 12

Should I be?


I am your master. I can have you beaten for your insolence. I can have you flogged simply because i desire to see you bleed.

LIN 12

Am I so special, that a prince desires to see my blood?




You gave quite a show today. Much better than I expected.

He paces around Lin, still half-lying on the floor. He stops when he comes full circle. He stoops and hooks his fingers around Lin'd collar. He lifts her up, holding her a little off the floor briefly. Lin struggles to keep her torn gown on her shoulders.

Modred chuckles.


You are mine now, did you know? Mother gave you to me as a gift. Just this morning.

Lin glares at him.


You're still to proud.

Modred strikes Lin across her cheek.


The overseer did not beat you hard enough today. I should have handled the whip myself. nest time, I think I shall. It's the only thing slaves understand. You're too stupid for anything else.


I can do whatever I like with you now. Do you realize that?

Lin doesn't answer.


Answer me.


Answer me, cumal.

LIN 12

(through clenched teeth)


Modred hits her face again.


Yes, what?

LIN 12

Yes, prince.


Still so very proud. No matter. i shall break you of that soon enough. You shall learn to address me properly.


I wanted your dear brother as well, you know.

LIN 12

Leave Dafydd alone.


I can do as I please with him. And you. Never forget that. The next time you dare command me, i might not be as easily amused.


Put your arms down.

She struggles to keep the torn gown up.

He gives her collar a twist.


Are you deaf as well as stupid? I gave an order, slave.

Lin lowers her arms. Modred, still holding her by the collar, jerks her garment down.


I can do whatever I please with you. I think I'll use you as my whore. Now.

He shoves her to the stone floor, and kneels over her. Lin struggles beneath him, looking for a weapon. The sheath for the prince's meatknife is empty. She uses the only weapon she has, her hands. She rakes her nails down Modred's cheek.

He recoils, and Lin is able to wriggle free. She creeps backward, but before she can get far, Modred grabs her ankle and pulls her towards him. He locks both of her wrists with one of his and flips her over. He sits on her and uses her gown to tie her hands. He flips her onto her back again and shoves a cloth into her mouth.


Lest you get the notion to bite.


Much better. Shall we start again?

He unties the laces of his trews and thrusts himself between her legs. He finishes. There is blood streaked on her legs and on him.


You were still virgin. n How absolutely delicious.


Well, now you're a whore, just like your mother. I could sell you this very moment.

He tucks his tunic back into his trews and relaces them.


But I won't. Not yet, anyway, because I want the pleasure of seeing your pride finally broken to be mine. Be assured, I will do it, and Iwill enjoy it. i want your brother to be there when you call me "master". For that, slave, I am. You will not have a moment to forget it.

He jerks the cloth out of her mouth. She gasps for air. He walks from the hut, wiping his hands on his trews.

LIN 12

(whispers hoarsely)


She struggles out of her bonds and cleans herself up as best as she can before falling into exhausted sleep.

fade out:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My impressions; or, a pseudo review--the "Lancelot series" by Sarah Luddington

I don't claim to be a book reviewer. But I read books and I have opinions about them. So I want to launch a new blog series of what I like to call, pseudo-reviews. Merely my impressions about the books I include here.

I recently read these three titles in quick succession:
Lancelot and the Wolf
Lancelot and the Sword
Lancelot and the Grail
Sarah Luddington

Mirador Publishing

Genre: fantasy

Began reading: February 5, 2012
Finished reading: March 9, 2012-03-10

The books drew my interest because they are Arthurian and I enjoy reading the vast variety of versions. Each is unique to the author.

An interesting twist to the familiar story and characters. The author begins Lancelot’s story—told in first person—in the aftermath of his punishment and exile from Camelot as a result of his affair with Guinevere. Interesting in that this is the point where traditional versions are typically ending the tragedy of King Arthur. So I was interested to see just where the books were headed.

I was neither shocked nor surprised when it eventually became apparent that Arthur and Lancelot have always had a sexual attraction to each other. And the basic thread of the novels is their love/hate relationship and the conflicts both within themselves and the social pressure against them openly showing their love. I have often wondered about the homoerotic aspects in the medieval texts. Maybe it’s my modern conventions that make me read that sort of subtexts at times. But apparently I’m not alone in my curiosity over this theme. Over all, the theme was treated quite well by Ms. Luddington. Sex was never gratuitous.

But the characters were quite flat. As a reader, I made no emotional connection with any of the major characters. To me, the author did much better breathing life into many of the secondary characters that we got to know through Lancelot’s encounters with them.

The plot did keep me turning pages. And each book has its own plot along with the overall story arc of all three. But I think I kept reading more because of my Arthurian curiosity than anything else. If I had not Arthurian interest and had picked up as a fantasy or romance, I would have abandoned the first book for technical reasons: anachronisms, American slang, lack of punctuation, improper word usage, poor sentence structure, etc. (But that’s me, the writer coming out.) That and the cardboard characters.

A fourth novel is due later this year. I doubt I will pick it up. My Arthurian curiosity wore out with this one.

Fandom Fest 2012, here I come!

I've just been invited to attend Fandom Fest 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky as part of their literary/writers' track! Working things out. I'll update when I have more info. Which panels and when.

But keep these dates:

June 28 to July 2!!

See you than.