Book Announcement
Thoughts , Updates / July 15, 2013

Hear ye, Hear ye, A Book Announcement is ready to be made.   We would like to announce the fourth book of the Demesne YA fantasy series “The Challenge” is now live on and e-book for your favorite device.  Short synopsis of “The Challenge”    Montiack invokes the Matriarch Challenge, a deadly duel on dragon back. The first obstacle for Jira is to find a dragon from her own clan as her dragon mount. Her connection to the valley and to the crystal, and any help from her friends Aithera and Devon is forbidden by the First Matriarch, and any interference will be met by instant death. Links to this and the first three books of course can be found on our book site For more information about our books please feel free to contact Steven Swem at We are and independent self publishing team. We hope you enjoy our stories.

The Escape
Short Stories / May 30, 2013

The Escape He was in a group of other denim jacketed teenagers, as they passed by the window of the school.  I noticed, on several occasions, that this one, tall, long armed, blond haired, youth kept taking darting glances as he passed by. Class had been over for two hours when he returns alone.  He slowly comes out of the alley just north of the school.  He steps quickly and carefully so as to not step on any of the papers or cans that littered the sidewalk, and only an occasional scuffle could be heard from his black sneakers.  Hands in pants pockets, he walks down the street.  Glancing over his shoulder from time to time, he passes by the school, without looking in the window, and stops a couple of doors away to lean against the side of the building.  Back against the wall, just outside the light from the street lamp, right leg crossed over his left, and just looking up and down the street, acting casual but checking out the area.  The shade of his faded denim cloths allowed him to blend with the shadows.  He keeps this relaxed state for a couple of minutes then moves…

Short Stories / May 24, 2013

Bully ’”Hey beaver face, my pencil needs sharpened.  Come over here and chew on it for me and make it good and sharp again.  Ha Ha Ha.” Was the sound of trouble ringing down the hall. “Ron Crum and his gang of trouble makers.”  Thinking to myself.  “Thinking they own the school.  Where’s Canary?  Ron’s not so nasty when there’s a teacher around.  What a way to start a new class.  I’m here to learn how to draw houses and now I have to put up with him.”  Trying to get some other kid between Ron and myself.  “This isn’t going to be as much fun as I thought it was.” As the bell rings, the loud mouth with the leather jacket waits by the door.  As I start to pass, he bumps me into the edge of the doorway.  My left shoulder hits the door jamb.  Knocking my books from my hands.  I inhale sharply against the pain, and try to act as if nothing has happened.  While trying to pick up the scattered papers and books, Canary looks up from his desk.  I must be beat red in the face, as I hear the snickers from the other…

Going With The Flow
Thoughts / May 19, 2013

Chapter 15 out of 21 chapters, is off to the editor. The current project is right on track. What? Huh? Just what do you think you’re up to? Are you really sending off just one chapter at a time to the editor? Are you nuts? This might be what some are thinking, if they are following my entries in my face book fan page. So what am I up to? Why not wait and send the whole manuscript to the editor? Well, let me splane the madness. Pst, pst; that was intentional. We work at it and work at it, and finally we think we have the story, from start to finish. Now back to the beginning. We throughly go through the first 3 chapters and eventually call it good. Then we notify the editor and when she is ready we send off the first chapter with synopsis of the story, chapter by chapter. This starts the editing process of sending and receiving chapters. This does 2 things. It imposes a deadline: We know that we will be getting a chapter back, so we have to have another chapter ready to go out to editing. If we are not ready,…

Lone Wolf
Short Stories / May 14, 2013

Note: This is a work of fiction. Something that simple sprang to mind. Lone Wolf With all her big brothers and sisters off to school, our ranch became a lonely place for our three-year-old daughter, Becky. She longed for playmates. Cattle and horses were too big to cuddle and farm machinery dangerous for a child so small. We promised to buy her a puppy, but in the meantime, “pretend” puppies popped up nearly every day. I had just finished washing the lunch dishes when the screen door slammed and Becky rushed in, cheeks flushed with excitement. “Mama!” she cried. “Come see my new doggy! I gave him water two times already. He’s so thirsty!” I sighed. Another of Becky’s imaginary dogs. “Please come, Mama.” She tugged at my jeans, her brown eyes pleading, “He’s crying–and he can’t walk!” “Can’t walk?” Now that was a twist. All her previous make-believe dogs could do marvelous things. One balanced a ball on the end of its nose. Another dug a hole that went all the way through the earth and fell out on a star on the other side. Still another danced on a tightrope. Why suddenly a dog that couldn’t walk? “All…

So What is Next?
Thoughts / May 4, 2013

So what is next up, now that ‘The Challenge’ is getting closer to completion. I really don’t know. There is ‘Devon’ waiting in the wings, and I have 11 other concepts with at least a rough draft of the rough outline of the rough idea. So what is next. The Merlin like story? One of a couple of space adventures? Maybe the underwater/spy/save the world like story? Some would say, that, Devon should be next, if that is his story, and picks up where ‘The Challenge’ leaves off. Which it does, and which it is. Even though I try to stay clear of it, some things just sneaked in. I have tried and tried to stay away from Devon. There is more to his story then the character in the story. He is the character that started this roller coaster, oh so very long ago, and neither he nor I could have guessed, that what was developing, was ever going to be told. Shawna, created and operated by the better half, Deeitras, and another (who, out of respect will remain nameless), were the primary developers for helping to create Devon. Yes, there was a real personality behind Shawna, and a…

Short Stories / April 9, 2013

Note: This is a work of fiction. Something that simple sprang to mind. Life In this modern time, people go about their daily lives and have forgotten, and can no longer acknowledge the one part of their world that makes it all possible.  They wake up to the blare of the alarm clock, then it is the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the day with showers, breakfast, getting dressed for either school or work.  The shouted questions and answers, the rumble of the car or bus, hum of the tires, and the clamor of the radio.  Clicking of computer keyboards, tapping of pencils, shuffling of feet and chairs.  Then home to the family and the arguments and fights, laughter and giggles.  Then to bed so that the next day it can start all over. My eyes opened to darkness.  Night would soon be replaced by the warmth and glow of the sun.  The all encompassing black of the night was broken up into shifting shadows of gray, black, and the silvery glow of the full moon.  The long dark shadows, of the trees across the ceiling, looking like cracks running across the top of a frozen winter lake. …

Editors and Beta readers
Thoughts / February 22, 2013

Are Editors and Beta readers helpful? Most say that editors are a necessity and I fully agree with that. If not for spell & grammar checking software, I wouldn’t even consider doing this writing thing. Then there is my editor. Must have! Mine lets me know if I start using one word or phrase too much, tells me when I need to do some more research into this English language thing. And then she adds just a little touch here and there, that, most of the time adds to the scene. Sometimes I don’t agree, and change it. I would never consider sending my editor a rough draft or first draft, that would be cruel. I do the best I can, and when I think I have gotten it good enough, then I send it on. I don’t know if this is normal or not, but I send my work, one chapter at a time to my editor, trying to have a chapter ahead of the one she is working on, in her mailbox. I know a few writers that send the whole manuscript, and wait for the editor to get done with it. I like this chapter at a…

Inspired by a dream
Short Stories , Story ideas and snipets / February 21, 2013

Inspired by a friends dream —————————————           While visiting a friends house last evening, I was happy to discover that you lived next door! The house I was visiting had some older women living there and they were very in touch with nature and the energies around them. They knew you well and they knew your children. As we talked, they said that the kids were playing around back, with their kids and that if I wanted, you were probably around in the back, laying on a couch and I could go visit you. As I came around back, it was great to see the kids, grown more now, playing, having fun with their friends!  You were laying down, very beautiful, very tired, in a very “southern bell” sort of dress. I paused to take in your beauty and to feel how good it felt to see you again. It has been a long time since we have been here, in this dream state….             Time has weathered you some, but as your eyes opened, you caught my look….  your eyes said hello, but your mind met a moment of fear – wondering where your man…

Keeping Characters in Character
Thoughts / February 2, 2013

We are in the editing phase of the 4th story and I was taking a break. A train of thought came to me about the characters in the series. On how much a stickler I am about the character being who they are. Huh? You might say. Well let me get on my soap box. 🙂 Maybe it stems from my gaming days or maybe it is just me, but, when I am going through a re-read of a chapter, one thing I try to keep in mind, is the character acting properly. Does the character maintain the core personality that developed. Are they reacting the way they should or have I given them traits from someone else. Are they walking, talking, reacting and feeling things, the way that their character should. There has been a time or two when I stop and ask. “would Aithera really do something like that?”, “is Beth talking better then a child of that age?”, “should Jira be scared or concerned, or would she be more able to handle the situation by now?”, “would Aithera wear pants here or would her penchant for skirts or gowns be better?”, “what would Jira be thinking of…