Update, cinematic brain, non-writers, and readers


Hi all! Sorry it’s been awhile. I broke my pinkie toe, ran headfirst into Fiction Expedition with the amazing Debbie Burns, and have been working diligently on A Royal’s Undoing, the first book in my Vaedrathan Chronicles.

I have the first two chapters written, 3-4 scenes (the prompts I’ve shared) that will get put in when I get to their spots, have done a couple of ‘character sheets’/deep dives on my main players, and have notes all over the place.

Today I will be working on the prologue and starting the 3rd chapter, along with filling in more character info since some of them are finally starting to open up to me more LOL!

That is one thing that a lot of non-writers/non-creatives do not understand, and trying to explain it is even harder. Our art, characters, stories talk to us. A fellow writer and becoming a good friend told me today that she wished she had a ‘cinematic brain’ that a lot of us writers have. I told her it is not always a blessing as some of us that have this cinematic brain can’t turn it off so it creeps into our dreams / nightmares as well. Don’t get me wrong. I love being able to ‘see’ my scenes, but it would be nice if I had an off switch for it sometimes. I also wish that ‘seeing’ these scenes gave me a better ability to write it out.

Another thing that most non-writers don’t get. We put a LOT of work into our books. We don’t just sit down and have it all flow out perfectly the first time!  It takes a TON of research to get the right colors, scenes, clothing/armor/weapons, political bullshit, etc done right. We have to watch our grammar and create believable characters. And our muses don’t always want to cooperate with us. There are days when I can’t get anything down on paper. There are days when I can crank out almost 2,000 words. Then there are days when all I can do is work on my world or a character or two in that world.

This is why we ask for opinions. This is why we ask for reviews. We work very hard to give readers great stories to bury themselves in and we like to know that people are enjoying (or even hating) what we write. Not everyone will like what we write, and that’s OKAY. Because there ARE people that love what we write. People that ask us if there is going to be more. Will there be a series? When they tell us they love the scenes we ‘painted’ it makes our day. We love hearing that our readers love/hate certain characters and why.

So next time you read a book/short story/poem, make sure you let the author know what you think. If you liked it, PLEASE tell us. If you didn’t like it, don’t be rude about it. Let us know with constructive criticism or just tell us it’s not your thing and then move on to things that ARE your thing. We appreciate all the feedback as long as you aren’t being an ass about it.

Hope you all have a blessed day!


New pen name and story brain dump

As I’m sure you all have noticed I have changed my name on here. Being as I write different genres, I decided to have a pen name to differentiate between my kids books and the rest of my writings and after discussing with hubby and soul sisters, we came up with Cyn A. Snow. Cyn, being short for Cynthia/Cyndi, A- my middle initial, and Snow, which is my mother’s maiden name. This way I still have my actual name, it’s just a little different. Let me know what you think down in the comments!

Now. I am in a 6 month writing intensive, as I’ve discussed and during our first week which started Sunday, we have to do what’s called a Story Brain Dump. It helps us go over important things in the story to make sure we have all the components sorted and to write out anything else that pops up that we feel is important to the story.  SO far, my favorite part that I’ve done is the “What is the world like?” and I’m going to share what I’ve written for it so far and maybe will share what I add later but we’ll see as I don’t want to give away too much hehe!

And away we go! Enjoy and again, make sure you let me know what you think in the comments! I love getting suggestions or hearing other’s thoughts on what I write. Helps make my writing better. Thank you!

#StoryBrainDump #FE

“What’s the world like?”

My world is a hidden realm called Vaedrathan nestled in the northwestern part of England. It is filled with elves of different flavors, dwarves that mine the most beautiful of gemstones & build fantastic cites, orcs that rule the desert with blood and lightning, and mysterious ruins that are rumored to be overrun with the undead.

*Here is my map that I made on inkarnate.com — rough idea of Vaedrathan at the moment*


#CharacterDeepDive – Lily’s Worst Fear




Lily was in the council room looking over some papers when she heard the door open. She turned to see who it was and raised an eyebrow when she saw it was her father, mother, and the 3 of the other elders.

“Uhhh… is everything okay? What’s with the group entrance?”

Her father came to her and gathered her up out of her chair, holding her tight to him. Her mother walked over and stood close by, looking haggard and like she  had been crying. Lily looks up at her parents, her eyes widening in fear, and peered over her father’s shoulder searching for her great-grandmother.

“Is it great mother? Has something happened to her!?”

“No, Great Mother is as fine as she can be right now. My Starflower…my sweet daughter,” her father begins, his voice catching as he tries to break the news. “I am so sorry but…” he chokes, tears running down his face, “Dmi….Dmitrie has been found…..he’s been found dead.” The last word is whispered as if saying it quietly would make it not true.

Lily shoves her father off of her and stares at him. “What!? NO….nononononono..” She starts pacing in a circle, kicks her chair, and using her arms  shoves all the papers that had been on her desk off of it, a feral scream emitting from her throat. She takes her chair and throws it across the room, just barely missing the guard standing near the doors. Her father and mother both grab hold of her and hold her tight to them. Lily fights them, screaming and wailing at the loss of her best friend. She beats on her father’s chest, shouting a stream of no, until she tires herself out. Once she has quieted down to just whimpers, her father and mother carefully bring her to the floor, both holding her close, trying to comfort her as best as they can.

“How?” She whispers.

“One of my rangers found him near the border of Galna Alari and the road leading to Twilight Province.” Elder Pavaris states, his voice barely a whisper. “I am so sorry, my Queen. I don’t even understand why he would have been there.”

She takes a couple of deep breaths and looks up at the elders who, after she had been subdued, had moved closer to them in the case they were needed.

“Lord Pavaris….Lord Anafiel.”

“My Queen,” they said in unison.

“I want you to do whatever it takes and hunt down the creature that did this. And I mean whatever it takes.  You WILL bring this ….whoever/whatever it is…to me once you find them.” She gently pushes her parents away and wobbles a bit as she stands and looks at the people she trusts most in front of her.

“This will NOT go unpunished. This will NOT be like when my grandmother died. It will NOT go unsolved. We WILL turn this city upside down to find out what happened. Dmitrie…” her voice cracks as she says his name and then shakes her head and does her best to settle herself. <She is Queen after all> she thinks to herself.

Out loud she whispers, “Dmitrie did not deserve whatever was done to him. Please handle him like you would handle me and bring him to the Sacred Throne once you ….” she starts to cry again, her voice breaking as she thinks about what they will be doing over the next few days. She swallows and tries again. “Once you are done …preparing him.”

The elders all nod solemnly. “Who is attending to Lord Pettoris and his family?”

“That is why Great-Mother is not here, my Queen.” This from Khilseith, who until now had been very quiet.

Lily nods, sniffling and doing her best to try and get herself back under control. “I need you all to do what you can to find this miscreant.  Including you Lord Olastra.  I need you to help Kyrenic through this and utilize all the magic you have to deal with this situation.”

Khilseith nods. “As you wish, my Queen.”

Lily turns to everyone. “Now everyone but my parents, leave and do as I asked. And,” she pauses. her eyes a swirling mass of dark green and goldenrod, whispers, ” thank you.”


#CharacterDeepDive Part II — Main Character Liliana Mordov


Prompt #1

Lily and Dmitrie stood behind the doors waiting to be announced. Lily’s left arm, settled lightly on top of his right, trembled making the lace from her sleeve cause slight goose bumps to appear on his alabaster skin. He patted her hand and smiled at her.

“It will be okay your Majesty,” He whispered.

She turned slightly to look at him and gave him a weak smile in return. She felt like her whole body was one big tangled knot. It had been officially announced the day before that she, the Queen, had returned and a great ball was immediately planned for the next night. So here she stood with her best friend and personal assistant, about to walk into a room with all of the high society families of Galna Alari. Some of these people she hadn’t seen since she was a youngling, others she had never met.

They heard the music start in the next room and the guards started to open doors. Lily swallowed hard. It was loud enough that Dmitrie looked at her sideways and the guard standing there raised an eyebrow. She plastered a smile on her face and nodded.

As they entered the ballroom, other than the music playing, it was completely quiet. Lily looked around at everyone, smiling as she made one foot go in front of the other, her heart racing all the while. At the first smile from her, the entire place erupted into cheers. Dmitrie led her down the aisle through the throngs of aristocrats, smiling at everyone, and doing his best to keep Lily steady. Once through all the well-dressed elves, he helped her up to the dais where Great-Mother Talinia, Lady Talia, and Elder Theren Mordov stood waiting for her. Dmitrie took his place next to her. The room fell silent once more and Elder Mordov stepped forward. Using a bit of magic, his voice propelled across the room so that even those on the other side could hear him.

“Ladies and gentle-elves, I want to introduce you to your Queen, Her Majesty Queen Liliana Mordov.” The room erupts once more into cheers. He lets it go on for a moment or two then waves his hand for silence and steps back and motions for Lily to say something.

She swallows hard again and steps forward. Cold sweat drips down her back and she flexed her fingers, doing her best to not wipe her clammy hands on her stunning forest green gown. Her cheeks flushed a deep crimson and her hazel eyes appeared damp and overly bright. She took a deep breath, let it out slowly, and then spoke to the waiting crowd. Thankfully her father had left the magic going for as quiet as she spoke, only Dmitrie would have heard her next words.

“Um…hi. I ….umm,” she fidgets with the ring her mother had given her when she had arrived a few days before. She takes another deep breath. “Thank…umm..thank you for such a be….beautiful welcome. I….I uhhh…”She clears her throat. “I’ll try to do my best as your queen. Thank you. Enjoy the ball.”

She steps back and does her best to smile at the stunned faces in front of her.

Elder Mordov steps back up and gives everyone a big smile.

“You will have to forgive our queen. This is still an adjustment but I assure you, she will adapt and she will lead us back to the greatness and close knit city we once were!”

The elves erupt into cheers and shouts of encouragement and love to Lily were heard here and there. Theren turns to his daughter and bows. He turns around, flicks his hand and the music starts up once more. “Now everyone enjoy the ball and make this a ball we will never forget!”

CDD #5 Khilseith’s Apprentice


inspiration for Khil's apprentice
Inspiration for Kyrenic 

Khilseith was sitting in his mage tower pouring over some of the ancient texts, looking for more information about the Great Owl Throne.  His work area has shelves full of books, potions, empty vials, and rows of scrolls full of magick spells.

A soft knock on his door makes him slam the book closed and bark, “Who disturbs me?”

The door pushes open slowly and the dirty blonde head of his wife’s nephew appears.

“I am so sorry Uncle Khilseith but you said you wanted me to stop by today when I was done with my schooling.” The young boy comes in fully, his head bowed as he answers the older mage.

“Kyrenic! My boy! Yes yes. Come come. Forgive me, time got away from me while I was studying these texts.” He waves Kyrenic in farther and puts his arm around his shoulder.

Kyrenic looks up at his uncle, his deep emerald eyes sparkling in admiration. He had been living with Khilseith and Glynni since he was a youngling when his parents were killed during a battle with the dark elves. Khilseith wasn’t too keen with him at first, but once he realized that Kyrenic had magick ability, his whole attitude changed. Now Kyrenic was allowed to come to Khilseith’s tower, he was able to read through some of the old texts with Khilseith keeping an eye on him of course, and he was even allowed to practice his spells on Khilseith’s servant.

“What are we going to do today Uncle?”

By his tone, Khilseith could tell the boy was excited. He turned and looked down on his nephew. The youngling would be perfect for his future plans. He was very intelligent and was becoming a great mage, even at his young age.

“Well Kyrenic. I wanted to ask you if you would like to become my assistant full time. You have…”

“Really Uncle! Are you serious?” Kyrenic’s eyes widen and shine a bright harlequin green at the prospect of being assistant to, as far as he was concerned, the strongest mage in Galna Alari. His hands fly up to his mouth as his lips form a surprised O as he realizes he interrupted Khilseith. “I…I am so sorry Uncle. Please forgive my enthusiasm. I am just so honored!” He bows his head to Khilseith.

Khilseith takes a deep breath, his right index fingernail scratching the side of his right thumb, to remind himself to not lose his temper, not in front of the one person whose trust he was gaining rapidly.

Using one fingernail, he lifts Kyrenic’s chin so that he’s looking right at him. His blue eyes swirl like an ice storm, just for an instant, then in a blink, they are like a bright blue sky and he gives Kyrenic a grin.

“It is alright Kyrenic. It is not everyday someone gets to assist someone as marvelous as myself. But as I was saying,” he pauses a moment and turns to the table, waving his hand slightly, then reaches into the small gilded chest that suddenly appears. “You have grown so much magickally and I am so glad I have been able to help you with that and to witness it.”

Turning to Kyrenic, he holds out a silver ring with runes engraved around it. “Here. If you accept my offer to be my assistant, place this ring upon your left index finger and swear your fealty  to me and ONLY to me. You do this, and I will take care of you and make you powerful beyond your dreams.” He gets a smirk on his face, knowing once that ring was on, Kyrenic would do anything for him, one way or another.

Kyrenic leans forward to look at the ring, hypnotized by the beauty of it. He looks up at Khilseith, his eyebrows raised in surprise, his eyes wide in excitement as he nods emphatically. He licks his lips nervously, and his whole body takes on a soft golden glow as he reaches out to take the ring. All he’s ever wanted was to find a place where he belonged after his parents died, and Khilseith had given him that place.

“I swear allegiance to you Uncle Khilseith. I shall do all you ask of me,” he puts the ring on his finger and a blast of magick encompasses Kyrenic’s body for a moment, surrounding him in a soft red mist, then dissipates as it seeps into his skin, mixing with Kyrenic’s magickal essence. He swallows hard as he adjusts to the new power within him. “And I shall follow you to the death if need be.” He falls to one knee in front of Khilseith, bowing his head.

Khilseith places one well-manicured hand on Kyrenic’s head. “Good. That is what I wanted to hear. Now get up and let us get you some different clothes, we have a lot of work to do and I won’t have my apprentice walking around looking like he’s some commoner.”

CDD #4 Khilseith’s Emotions

Theren Mordov, Elder of Clan Brinnai and High Shaman of the Elder Council, went around to gather the rest of the elders, letting them know that something of upmost importance has happened and that they all need to get to the Celestial Sanctuary quickly. Retrieving Elders Pettoris, Anafiel, and Pavaris were easy as none of them questioned him, as was appropriate for the lesser elders. As he got to Elder Khilseith Olastra’s house, he took a deep breath before walking up the steps and knocking on the door.


Elder Olastra’s butler opens the door. “Greetings Elder Mordov. Shall I get Elder Olastra for you and would you like to come in?”


“Yes Neldor. And make sure to tell him he needs to be dressed in his finest. No, I shall wait out here.”


Neldor, nods, bows, and closes the door. A few moments later, the door flies open and one of the most stunning of elves in Galna Alari stands there. He has long platinum blonde hair that flows around his shoulders and eyes of the bluest sky you’ve ever seen. There are flecks of silver and white that makes it look like he has clouds in his eyes that can turn into an icy snowstorm when angered. He is dressed in clothes made of the finest elven silk, in dark blue and white with accents of gold and the finest leather boots in cobalt blue. Hanging on his hip, is an elegant scabbard of gold with elven runes and various symbols etched in silver and azure blue with the delicate hilt of an ancient rapier peeking out of the top of it.


His crystal blue eyes look like a winter snowstorm raging across the sea as he looks at Theren. “What is the meaning of this Mordov? It better be important for you to come to my house and drag me out at this time of night!”


Theren rolls his golden eyes, their normal dandelion gold darkening to an almost goldenrod, at Khilseith’s posturing. “Would I be here if it wasn’t important, Khilseith?” He uses the elder’s first name, knowing it would get under his skin, but also to remind him who he was speaking to. “It is extremely…..extremely important that you come with me to the sanctuary.”


“Why? Why can you not tell me WHY I must come with you? And obviously it’s important if YOU are here, but you cannot tell me until we get there and I would like to know why.  I am not going to traipse across the city getting my exquisite outfit contaminated unless I know exactly why.”


He glares at Theren, standing fully upright so that he towers over the older elf. He has one hand grasping the edge of his coat, the other hand hanging near his rapier, his fingers twitching slightly.


Theren sighs and shakes his head as he looks up at the younger elf, the annoyance clear in his tone.


“Khilseith. Why must we go through this? I am the High Shaman, the highest rank of the Elder Council and your elder to boot. Despite how you feel about me and my family personally, you really need to start remembering your place and acting appropriately. However,” he pauses and lets out a grumble. “Because I….we… do not have time for this, I will tell you.” He swallows hard, and takes a deep breath knowing exactly how Khilseith is going to react to this news.


“My daughter….our Queen… has returned to Galna Alari. Great-mother has gone to collect her, bring her into Vaedrathan, and prepare her for her future. And as an elder, you need to be at the sanctuary to greet her, welcome her home, and name her queen so that we can finally start fixing our fractured city.” He takes a couple of steps back as he waits for Khilseith’s reaction.


Khilseith listens as Theren tells him why he was at his house so late. His eyes widen as he gives Theren an incredulous stare. He grabs hold of the door and his other hand flies up to his throat.


“Lil….Liliana has returned?” The question comes out in a shaky, soft whisper. Khilseith swallows hard, his face going much paler than his already porcelain skin. “No. I don’t believe it.” He shakes his head, the hand on the door squeezing so hard, his knuckles were turning crimson.


After the initial shock, he lets go of the door and shakes his arms to try and regain some composure. He takes a deep breath, closes his eyes, lets out the breath and then as his eyes open, sparks flying across them like lightning, he starts shouting.


“How could she be here unless someone led her here? Where are the guards! Aren’t they supposed to be making sure no one could find our entrance? They must be fired at once! We can’t just allow anyone inside our gates!”


Theren watches as Khilseith has his little rant and crosses his arms. “Are you quite done? I am sure that Great-Mother has brought her through by now so enough of your theatrics and let us get going.”


He turns to go and stops as Khilseith yells “How do you know that is your daughter? Have you seen her up close yourself? How do you know it’s not one of our enemies glamored to look like her?”


Theren spins around and is back in front of Khilseith before the young elf can react and grabs Khilseith by his coat . “Do not test me youngling.” His voice deep, quiet, and controlled but with an angry undertone. “I have seen her through the scrying bowl and I know what my own child looks like. You will accompany me to the sanctuary and you will do your duty as a member of the council or you WILL be kicked off and someone else will represent your clan, do you understand me, Lord Olastra?”


Khilseith’s lips tremble and his eyes widen again in fear.  His body starts to tremble and sweat breaks out on his upper lip.

“I….” he swallows hard. “My apologies Elder Mordov. Please forgive my lack of manners. Please put me down and stop touching me. I will come quietly.”

Theren puts him down and straightens his coat out and turns to leave again. “Then let us go and prepare the princess to become a queen. At least attempt to be happy she is home,hmm?”


Khilseith’s whole body shakes with revulsion after Theren lets go of him. He brushes his coat and arms, flicks his hair with a hand, and clears his throat. Neldor, who had been standing by the entire time, hands his lord a handkerchief. Khilseith wipes his hands and his face and then throws the handkerchief back at Neldor, throws back his shoulders, and storms off after Theren.

CDD #3 Khilseith’s ‘Power’ Grab

The Great Owl Throne of Galrena had been missing for one hundred years and now because the rightful heir, Liliana Mordov, had returned, so too had the throne. The throne had been made by the wood elves eons ago and some of their goddess Galrena’s essence had been put into it as a way of keeping some of her magick safe should anything happen to her physical form.

Khilseith stands in front of it one night after everyone has gone home for the evening, basking in the soft magickal glow. He inhales deeply as he feels the energy pulsating from it. Never had he felt this amount of power emanating from an object before and he had been around some ancient magickal items in his time. He paces around it like a predator stalking its prey, holding his hand out, letting his fingers play in the pale green waves of the goddess’s tree energy coming off of it.

While he slowly circles the throne, his mind rages in what has become a constant battle as of late. What little conscious he has argued that this is not good. He should not be thinking about stealing Galrena’s energy. It goes against everything he’s been taught, it goes against his people, and most of all is traitorous to their goddess. Then he thinks about how much more power he’ll have tapping into Galrena’s magick. He was already quite a powerful mage, one of the most powerful in Galna Alari. But it wasn’t enough for him. He couldn’t be King right now, so he’d settle for more magickal power….for now.  He would tap into this ancient goddess’s power little by little and get so strong no one could match him and then he could TAKE the throne from that tainted wretch! THAT was what was important! Not the other elves, not their traditions, but POWER and LOTS of it.

Brushing his soft thinking aside, he starts siphoning little bits of magick as he continues to stalk around the throne, touching a wing here, caressing the chair arm there. The potent lifeblood of Galrena flows into his fingertips, travels up his arms like bolts of lightning, and combines with his own energies, making his  platinum blonde hair swoosh upwards, and causing his entire body to match the silvery-green glow of the throne. He laughs maniacally as he leaves the throne room and heads to his private tower to test out his new powers, not noticing the glow of the throne has dimmed and some of the leaves that decorate the top of it have wilted.