Ivan the Brave: Chapter List & Details

“From here on, ladies and gentlemen, I shall be working without a net.” Continue reading


Intermission Music

And now some music!  (on digital paper anyway)

“Gone Missing” (for flute, viola, harp)

As you can see by the PDF date, I actually wrote this some time ago for a different project.  I had a weird habit at that time of using MuseScore to make my own writing soundtrack, since the program itself plays back whatever is written.

I have no training in music writing, but now and then a lonely (if not fickle) muse stops by for company.  As soon as the next day, she slips off again, leaving all other musical attempts once against stilted.

Unless this is featured in some big movie production in the future, you can re-post this free of charge, so long as you attribute me as the composer and link listeners back to this blog or profile.  I’ll dream and add, if you want to use it for commercial purposes, please contact me and set up some kind of compensation.  Thanks.

Congratulations, it’s a…

I’ve given some more thought to titles, considering phrases within the theme, premise, and dialogue.  I even went to this strange and magical land, to see what an algorithm could come up with.  Here are the runners up:


The Harper’s Journey

The Trickster’s Apprentice

The Harper’s Ransom

King’s Fool*


The last one (*) refers to the idea of a harper being a type of fool if you count him or her among the skomorokhi but that might go over people’s heads.  However, the winner for random sequence of determiners, nouns, and adjectives (aka, a title) is…


…drumroll please…


A Queen’s Ransom




Okay, so it happens to be an alternative name of a 1976 Hong Kong action flick, International Assassin, but that was before I was born.  I like the turn of phrase, though I wish I could fit something in there to hint at magical fantasy romance.

Special mention for amusement to Russian Rashomon and The Ghost and the Gusliar.

Like the title?  Like any better?  Comment below with your own take on the vote!  See you next week with an update!


15: Welcome Party

Chapter One

Table of Contents

The Survey of Titles (see notes)

Thanks for sticking with me so far!  One more post after this one and then there’ll be a few weeks’ break with just a few shorts while I get ready for the next big thing.




In the day sky, the new moon is faint behind scattered clouds.

Liev approaches, Pavel riding beside him with KNIGHTS. Continue reading

14: Saving Face

Cue the homecoming montage!

Chapter One

Table of Contents

Help me pick a title!  Check out the notes in Chapter 13 for details.



Noon:  Liev and Pavel cross the bridge, Sasha behind.  Men take a knee and patrons shout from windows.  The two knights eye Sasha warily. Continue reading

Dear Instant-Liker on WordPress

Disclaimer:  Dear followers, I love you guys.  I just had this thing happen to me yesterday.  If you’ve ever had the same, can I hear an “Amen”?

Dear Instant-Liker on WordPress,

It happened.  You slipped.  I’m onto you now.  I see what you’re doing.  The smokescreen in gone.  I can’t believe I was so blind. Continue reading