Brida Anderson

Urban Fantasy

Tag: elves (page 1 of 2)

The sounds of Urban Fantasy

Research on the Poison Patch front: What is the sound a sword makes that is pushed back into the scabbard? It’s not slid back, it’s shoved in with a decisive push and that makes a nice, short…clattering sound, for lack of a better word.

Googling for possible words brought me to TV Tropes. Love their entry “Audible Sharpness“, with such highlights as:

When weapons with sharp and cutting edges are brandished, a vaguely metallic sound effect will be inserted (along with a bit of Lens Flare) to signify just how lethally sharp the weapon is.The tone of the sharpness, as with musical instruments, is dependent on size.

(…)
Common in animated works, sometimes as a trope, and sometimes as a humorous subversion. Sometimes even non-metal objects make a metallic scraping sound, like a predator’s row upon row of pointed teeth.
(…)

Keep in mind, the creators know that sharp things don’t make noise.

Right at the top of the page I came across a quote from one of my favorite novels. I fell in love all over again and just had to stop work on revising Poison Patch to make a picture out of the Terry Pratchett quote. Hope you like! Here it is to share:

 

Claws make no noise Quote Terry Pratchett
I totally agree. Swords should make a fat ringing sound when pulled from any scabbard, even stealthy leather ones, and claws need a ZING to show their sharpness. ;-) Don’t you agree?
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brida_anderson_photo_babs_huber_thumb Brida Anderson writes Urban Fantasy and Steampunk. Hedge Games released in December 2013 and she’s hard at work on its sequel, Poison Patch. You can find her at www.brida-anderson.com, Facebook, and Twitter. She and her family currently live in the Middle East with the newest addition to their household, a fae-cat called Robin.

Does he kiss with elven, Elfish or Elfin skill?

“Shush.” Mattis pressed a finger to my lips. “I was frightened for you.” Shielding me from view, he pulled me into his arms and claimed my mouth in a kiss. It was fierce, desperate, as if he was drowning out the world. I wrapped my arms around his neck. My arm grazed the fresh wound on his cheek and Mattis gasped with pain.

from: Brida Anderson: Poison Patch (Rule of Thorns, Season 2). Coming in fall 2015

So, about that skilled kisser. Does he speak Elfish? Or Elvish?

Are his looks Elfin or Elfish, or elven?

(copyright) Nicolas McComber, iStock

(copyright) Nicolas McComber, iStock

Elfish

When I was writing Hedge Games, I chose to use “Elfish” for everything: the language, the adjective, the people themselves. The same way I’d use Spanish: he’s Spanish, he speaks Spanish, the Spanish swords are of excellent quality.

I love the word “elven” and that the language of elves has its own name, Elvish, but I wasn’t sure if using that gets the LOTR fans up in arms when used in another world.

The editor of Hedge Games concurred, and so Elfish it was.

Elfin

Now the editor of Poison Patch corrected many instances of Elfish to “Elfin”.

To my ears, Elfin sounds like a human who has Elfish/elven qualities, especially a child. It probably got that way because it’s used outside of Fantasy literature to describe someone, usually a girl or a child, with fey qualities.

So I spent the morning researching Elfin, Elfish, elven, and found interesting theories on when to use which.

Elven

My editor would point out that Wikipedia and Google finds are not a trustworthy source, especially when it comes to spelling. ;-) If you ignore that, an interesting theory from two different grammar forums was this:

  • if you write in the tradition of Tolkien, D & D and other computer games/roleplaying systems who follow in that tradition, it’s elves with a v and the adjective is elven. The language is Elvish.
  • if you write in a remotely Walt Disney kind of style or world—one poster called it “Tinkerbelly” :-)—the plural is elfs (doesn’t have to be, though) and the adjective is Elfish. The elfs in that tradition are usually based on Tinkerbell-kind of fairies or Christmas elfs which usually don’t have their own language.

One argument that nailed it for me (revisions, here we go!) was the comparison to thieves. Thief / elf, plural thieves / elves. The old noun based on that wasn’t theft but thievery. The adjective is thieving.

So elf / elves / elven / Elvish makes a lot of sense, even if you had never heard of Tolkien. I’ll change it in Hedge Games and Poison Patch. But let’s get back to the more important things ;-)

Not wanting to ask Mattis for assistance, I used elven sorcery on his glamor. Elven magic worked with intent instead of sigils, so I scrunched up my face in concentration and thought with as much force as I could, Put something decent on me.

The dress flared green for a moment then disappeared. Which left me, once more, buck naked. Ooops.

“Okay, you win,” Mattis drawled by my ear, “I prefer your spell.”

from: Brida Anderson: Poison Patch (Rule of Thorns, Season 2). Coming in fall 2015

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The spam trolls try to eat this blog for breakfast if I leave comments open. I’d love to hear what you think, though, so if you’d like to leave a comment, please leave it on the Facebook page or through Twitter instead.

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brida_anderson_photo_babs_huber_thumb Brida Anderson writes Urban Fantasy and Steampunk. Hedge Games released in December 2013. You can find her at www.brida-anderson.com, Facebook, and Twitter. She and her family currently live in the Middle East with the newest addition to their household, a fae-cat called Robin.

Breathe, life is good!

Written for you on the 12h of February.

I read a blogpost by Elizabeth Gilbert today (“The Best Thing you can do for yourself – and all the women around you“) and it resonated into my evening. It’s just past 9 PM now and the youngest (3) is finally sleeping. He’s transitioning from napping in the afternoon to not napping. You remember that horrible time? When they’re cranky all afternoon if they don’t nap but if you put them down to sleep, they resist with the power of pure thunder. :-) If they do sleep, even if it’s only for 40 minutes, they have a hard time falling asleep in the evening and keep waking up at night.

armchair_bridaanderson_macbook_pirate_skull

One of those days, anyway.

So he was sleeping, I had snatched my notebook from the study and was on my way downstairs to write to you, carrying in my other arm a load of “woops, potty training”-clothes from my youngest. I could bemoan that it’s only 9 PM and I’m SO VERY tired.  Again. But you know what? Life is good.

Elizabeth Gilbert is right. We have to stop comparing ourselves and bemoaning our shortcomings. Yes, it would be lovely if my children hadn’t been sick this past week, if the nursery hadn’t had to close because of some foul water rising up through the ground. I’d be further into my projects, for one thing, closer to bringing them out into the world. Into your hands. Does it count? Should it make me sad that, like all moms I know, I’m galloping on the spot because the day has many hours but not enough to do all that I plan to do? No.

Life is good because: My youngest is sleeping soundly, with a smile on his face, and before he fell asleep, he tried to sing along with me to an old lullabye.

Life is good because my husband and my older son are giggling in the bedroom. My son has a bronchitis currently and needs to inhale twice a day with a (loud) nebulizer machine. To sweeten that time for him and because my son is sensitive to loud noise, my husband had the idea to put noise-cancelling headphones on them both (with a connector) and to watch silly cartoons or comedians with him while he inhales. My son loves this quality time with dad and it’s so great to see them giggle and laugh about the same things. :-)

The sound of their chuckling fades as I continue on down the stairs. Life is good because: The first thing I see in the living room is our kitten, curled up in the “knightly castle” the kids and I put up in the middle of the living room today.
cat_knightcastle_bridaanderson
She loves the sheltered space and stretches contently when I come closer. There’s an armchair waiting for me and the notebook, and, if I Iike, a very nice white wine is waiting in the fridge. My husband found it for me in the one (1) shop here that is allowed to sell alcohol. What a treat! I can sip the wine while I dive back into writing Poison Patch.

Life is good because I get time to write, in the quiet of the living room, with a purring cat for company — and the scene I have the pleasure to write for Poison Patch today is a playful bathhouse scene in Faerie, complete with naked yummy elves and gentle caresses under a waterfall. Maybe it will make it into the final manuscript, maybe not. But it sure is a treat to write.

Life is good, hm? :-)

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I’d love to talk to you. Due to an avalanche of spam, I had to close comments on the blog. If you’d like to comment on this blogpost, please talk to me on Facebook or on Twitter instead.

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brida_anderson_photo_babs_huber_thumb Brida Anderson’s novel, Hedge Games, released in December. You can find her at www.brida-anderson.com, Facebook, and Twitter. She and her family currently live in the Middle East with the newest addition to their household, a fae-cat called Robin.

New Urban Fantasy books 2015

Honeys, I hear you. It’s been over a year since Hedge Games came out and you haven’t seen hide or tail of book 2. I get at least one message through Facebook per week asking me when book 2 will be published. Enormously encouraging — but so far I had to mumble in reply. With the move to Qatar, all writing was on hold.

The good news: Since last September, I’ve been working like a woman possessed on … cough … not exactly (only) book 2 but many writing projects at once. This year will see the release (fingers crossed) of:

German edition of Hedge Games, HeckenspieleThe German edition of Hedge Games, “Hecken-Spiele”. If you’re at Leipzig Bookfair/Leipziger Buchmesse, you can check out teaser chapters at the booth of my friend Anja Bagus.

 

cat doing pushups on keyboard

always important: a little catnastics while you write …

Book 2 in the Rule of Thorns-series. I’m about 50 percent done with the 2nd draft of Poison Patch. Once I’m all done, it will fly out to my beta readers. After I’ve reworked it another … uh … five to ten times? ;-), it will go to my editor, then to a proofreader, then I’ll do the ebook formatting stuff and THEN you’ll finally hold it in your hands. I was asked by a blogger for when she can announce the 2nd book when she blogs about Hedge Games. And my succinct answer was: “uh … oh gee … uhm … let me think”.Depends on how quick my beta readers are, how quickly I can work in their feedback. We’re saying 1st of December 2015 now. But I REALLY hope it will come out sooner than that.

This year I’ll also release the Witches of Riverdale book. You probably remember the short story I wrote for Witches in Fiction last Halloween? “All Hallow’s Morning”  didn’t let me go and I switched NanoWriMo projects at the last minute, turning the short story into a whole book. It’s been slumbering and cooling down since then while I finish the 2nd draft of Poison Patch. But I love the book and really want to see it fly out into the world 2015. To tide you over till then: Did you know I have a Pinterest board where I collect witchy pins? Creatively titled … wait for it … Witches of Riverdale. ;o)

Right now, I can spend more time with fiction because the next non-fiction is a little ways off. But come March, I’ll have to divide my few kid-free hours between fiction and non-fiction again. (Which is what I normally do bec. nonfiction pays the bills.) Bad for finishing the novels, but good for those of you who enjoy my nonfiction. ;-) The project is still hush-hush; you’re gonna like it if you’re interested in losing a few pounds while you balance one kid on each hand. ;-)

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I’d love to talk to you. Due to an avalanche of spam, I had to close comments on the blog. If you’d like to comment on this blogpost, please talk to me on Facebook or on Twitter instead.

tendril_small

brida_anderson_photo_babs_huber_thumb Brida Anderson’s novel, Hedge Games, released in December. You can find her at www.brida-anderson.com, Facebook, and Twitter. She and her family currently live in the Middle East with the newest addition to their household, a fae-cat called Robin.

Escape to Faerie with these photos … or into your dreams

I’m in love ;-)

Look at the photos in this Flickr photostream. In case Rosie Ann’s style changes, I captured a screenshot.
I find the dystopian photos also intriguing, but my favorites are the ones that remind me of Faerie.

Go and have a look at Rosie Anne’s page … to dream.

rosie_anne_photos_brida_anderson
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If you’d like to leave a comment on this blogpost, please leave it on the Facebook page or through Twitter instead. I’d love to talk to you.

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brida_anderson_photo_babs_huber_thumb Brida Anderson’s novel, Hedge Games, released in December. You can find her at www.brida-anderson.com, Facebook, and Twitter. She and her family currently live in the Middle East with the newest addition to their household, a fae-cat called Robin.

Faerie’s Warriors of Faeruna

istock_000011375808“I want to know why they keep calling you the Judge. And a Warrior of Faeruna. Oh, and about that whole Silvermeadow thing. That’s a place in Faerie, right?”

“You hardly stop once you get going with questions …” Mattis chuckled, but his expression was serious. Would he try to brush me off again?

Apparently yes, as he didn’t say anything.

“Don’t you see how stupid I feel, running around with you and everybody goes ‘aha, Pix here, haha’ and ‘oh, the Judge? I’m going to piss my pants’, and I have no clue what they’re talking about?”

Mattis sighed. “Yeah, you’re right.” He looked into the distance.

“So?”

“So, the long and short of it is …” Mattis took a deep breath as if diving into a murky pond. He looked about as thrilled, too. “I did something that displeased the Queen. Since I am a Warrior of Faeruna, she couldn’t sentence me to death. The warriors are a precious commodity. So instead she gave me … a new job, as you’d call it. She made me Judge of Silvermeadow. It’s the only place in Faerie comparable to one of your cities. It isn’t allied to one of the Courts. Absolute freedom — and absolute chaos.”

“And the Judge upholds the peace?”

Mattis grinned. A vicious glitter had crept into his eyes. “The Judge’s ruling is indisputable. So every fae with a shady agenda has one goal once a new Judge is appointed: to kill him as quickly as possible. Because when he is dead, it might be a few decades before the next Judge is appointed.”

I gulped. “So what’s the average life expectancy of a Judge of that city?” It might not be so bad — we were talking about immortal fae, after all.

“One year. The Queen sent me to Silvermeadow to die.”

(from “Hedge Games“, Chapter 26)

One day, Mattis – oh, sorry: Mattis, Lightdefender, son of Dagani and Tyla, Judge of Silvermeadow, a Warrior of Faeruna – just stepped into my head.

While I wrote the story he and Alanna told me (which eventually turned into “Hedge Games“), I kept nibbling on that job description Mattis had so casually thrown out there. “A Warrior of Faeruna”. What the heck were they? Apparently precious enough that even if they pissed off an elven queen they were only banished … And who’s that Faeruna chick anyway? A goddess, perhaps?

Some months later, I was writing a fantasy short story together with a friend. And up popped another Warrior of Faeruna – Harcos Sunblade. (Harcos is Hungarian for knight.) Where Mattis lives in our times, an elf faced with urban cityscapes, Harcos lives in a medieval fantasy setting. When we first meet both men/elves, there is something sad and dark at the core of both characters, connected to their “job” as Warriors of Faeruna.

These warriors are chosen (nobody knows yet how, some say by the Goddess Faeruna) while they’re still in the womb. As children, their parents have to give them up, to be raised together, trained to be the fighting machines they are.

Each warrior has at least one special talent, often more than one. Harcos is a shapechanger (man and hound of the Wild Hunt), Mattis can switch between what he calls “dark form” and “light form”. What that is exactly, you can find out in autumn in the sequel to “Hedge Games“. ;-)

When a Warrior of Faeruna is fully trained, one of the Courts of Faerie claims him or her. They are that Court’s last line of defense. Originally, a Warrior served the Court he was born into — since the Goddess Faeruna obviously chose that court for him. Over time, this custom was changed and Courts exchanged their warrior for contracts with other courts. Since the Warrior belongs to the Queen of a Court she can deploy him wherever and however she sees fit.

As Harcos finds out when he protects his friends: disobey the Queen, and your life’s forfeit in Faerie.  The short-story “Three Days of Christmas” finds Harcos after he fell in disgrace and the Queen sent the Wild Hunt after him. Because for a Queen, a rogue Warrior of Faeruna is the ultimate threat, even more so than the fear of a vrall-invasion.

Organic goa elf bio eco medieval hippie Zipfel ethno

Just came across this heading on ebay: organic goa elf bio eco medieval hippie Zipfel ethno. (That’s just one jacket :-D)
Made me smile to find my description all in one place ;-)
I tried to find something comparable on ebay.com for you, but it seems sellers there actually make up their mind if the article is targeted to LARP or goa or hippie types. ;-)
In Germany, you can often find titles like this:
Sometimes with: wicca psy bohemian gypsy or yoga/om thrown in the mix. :-)
I have a feeling Alexandra Franzen or Kristen Lamb would know how to turn clothes-shopping into a keyword-exercise for the author-bio. ;-)
Is there a nice, universal word for “Zipfel” in English?
It’s a pointy end of a garment (lappet, tail) or the pointy end of a hoodie / soft hat.
In German, “Zipfel” has connotations of mischief, elves, gnomes, fairies, kiddie wear. In more recent times of Goa or Psy clothes.

I hadn’t seen anything in the style until I was in the first draft of Hedge Games, looking for something elfish to dress Mattis with while he was hiding out in plain sight among the humans. He’d wear a natural fibre, something elfish looking and something that wouldn’t restrict his movements if he had to conjure or fight. On a fair, I came nose to lapel with a gorgeous green goa shirt for guys … The rest is history ;-)

The following is a Psy shirt. In the first draft of Hedge Games, Mattis lived for years among humans and dressed more Psy/gamer than elfish. There’s unfortunately more Psy stuff for guys than Goa/elf wear.
If you come across shirts for guys, please let me know so I can add them to my Faerieland-board at Pinterest. :-)

Psy men shirt Shaman Electro Hedge Games elf wear

Liquid Dragon men’s shirt in green/black from Shaman Electro
Brida Anderson in elf wear goa yoga hippie shirt with om skirt

Me in a “yoga om elf zipfel goa hippie” shirt. Don’t even get me started on the skirt ;-)

Great Pinterest Boards: Visit the heart of the forest

Truly magical places are hidden deep in the woods. Inside the cool green cathedral of the trees you can find calm and clarity.
With Pinterest boards like Dominique’s “Deep in the Forest”, you can feel a touch of it at home.
Pinterest Tip by Brida Anderson: Deep in the Forest

Great Pinterest boards: Enchanting Paths (elves, calm, zen)

Curving paths by quiet lakes, walking toward a blood-red horizon, glimpses of a magical forest … Anyone looking for inspiration for their fantasy or romance writing and anyone looking for a little Zen on Pinterest, have a look at the board “Enchanted Paths”.

I’ve been collecting Pinterest boards for you guys for a while now (faerie, elves, Steampunk, photography) but due to our move abroad didn’t find the time yet to actually post them on here.

So here’s the first from the growing pile slumbering in my Evernote.
Enjoy!

Picture

Time to color in some fairies for Christmas

Fantasy and fairy artist Amy Brown has recently added some more printable coloring pages to her website; you can find them here: Elf / Fairy Coloring pages.
Just download and open in a PDF-Reader like Acrobat; print out in the size you want. Great for children — and fairy-loving moms, too ;-)

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Fantasy Artist Amy Brown’s Website with Shop and Free Coloring Pages
A fairy in my window
Here’s something else you can try: Print out the fairy enlarged, so that the lines are not so fine. It doesn’t matter if it looks somewhat pixellated. Slip the template into a clear plastic sleeve and you or your child can paint it with window-colors. (If the fairy is big, you can paint her in several pieces and later her join her together on the window. It works best if you make the pieces something where you have a black “border” line anyway.)

There are typical “fairy” window colors available in toy-stores and online, like pastels and silver.

After it’s dried, you can carefully peel it off and decorate your house with it.

You can also send the plastic sleeve (carefully wadded) to someone else as a gift. Last year, someone sent me a red-haired mermaid as a thank-you gift – my boys and I all loved her and she has been hanging in our bathroom ever since. :)

Can’t find the photo of the mermaid in our current moving-out chaos; but here’s another one I drew for our bathroom, based on Emily Windsnap (from the books). It’s a scan of the black borders; I later painted her in.

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