The "Unexpected Inspiration" Characters

May 10, 2017

Welcome to Musings of a Messenger!

Here you'll find the writing and ramblings of Meri Greenleaf. For easy access, here are the stories I've so far shared to this blog.

Short stories from "Unexpected Inspiration"
These are a collection of short stories about artists, inventors, and carnival performers. They're set in my lighthearted/comedic lgbt+ fantasy series Unexpected Inspiration. (You can learn more about the series here.) I'm currently writing the first trilogy of books in this series, so these short stories go along with those characters, and I'm always adding new stories to this list.
  • "Three Keys"
    Friendship, trust, and keys. Sweetness abounds.
  • "Who Picked Whom"
    The trio reflects on fate being
    weird. This never should have happened.
  • "A New Beginning"
    A would-be thief gets offered a job after a strange blue woman catches him.
  • "Rising to a Challenge"
    A young arcane chef regrets her decisions and wonders if her restaurant is cursed.
  • "Mile Long Cow"
    Some myths and legends go back centuries. This one goes back five minutes and you'll probably want that five minutes back.
  • "Soul-Marks"
    It would help if anyone ever went by their real name. (Every writer writes a cheesy soulmate AU at some point. This is mine.)
  • "Lost and Found"
    Sure, blame the newcomer when your stuff goes missing. That won't come back to bite you.
  • "Roommates"
    What do you do when your new roommate is an offbeat inventor who can control fire? First step: make him wear pants.
  • "Of Parties and Potions"
    A mischievous scheme causes chaos at a costume party. The healer enlists the help of a cat and a mouse to right a lizard's wrong.
  • "Sheltered"
    Adair wakes up and finds that he has been left alone. He's not happy about this.

These are longer stories set in the world I was writing previous to Unexpected Inspiration; they're older stories written in '10 and '11. These are more traditional fantasy and are set in the "Dungeons and Dragons" world my husband and I created. I've since moved on from elves and traditional fantasy, but these stories hold a special place in my heart as the ones that gave me my love of writing.
  • The Acolyte's Map
  • A powerful magical artifact has been unleashed! Unfortunately it has fallen into the unlikely hands of a hapless young priest who is now bound by its bizarre curse. This is the tongue-in-cheek tale of a half-elven cleric who is trying to locate and free the unwitting victim from said item's grasp with the help of his mischievous (and not always competent) brethren. Along the way there will be magic, intrigue, mischief, and a talking dog.
  • Hidden Magic
  • Meren, an unusual elf girl (and her more unusual centaur brother) take up the task of hunting down a band of orc trespassers. When she stumbles into a pitfall, Meren finds an object: an amulet that gives strange new powers. Little does she know that an increasingly desperate young wizard is looking for the very same amulet and that their paths are destined to crisscross in a weave of chaotic magic...

The moral of the story is...

This is another fun writing game going around on Tumblr right now, so I thought I'd share it here. The rules are: For all of your WIPs and completed works, write a line that describes the moral of the story. It can be as funny or as serious as you want.

(I’m going to use the larger projects that are either finished or that I’ve done the most work on. The first two are novellas you can find here on my writing blog, the third is an abandoned novel set in the world of those stories. The fourth is a novella set in my current world along with the last three, which are the trilogy I’m writing now.)

The Acolyte’s Map: Working together will save the day OR You really should have listened to the talking dog.

Hidden Magic: Sometimes the person you can trust most is the one you thought you should trust least OR You really should have listened to the talking horse. (Okay, it was a centaur.)

In the Cards: You never know who the shapeshifter might be- the elf? A table? Your left shoe? OR Don’t be stupid enough to anger a bunch of deities.

A Sparkler’s Glow: Love comes from unexpected places OR Don’t bother trying to explain sarcasm to an imp. He’ll never get it.

Colorweaver: Bravery is a little easier alongside loyal friends OR If you don’t lock your door, you’ll end up dragged on an adventure.

Sentinel: A bond of the heart cannot be easily broken OR Carnies are probably a bad influence, but those rules you’re breaking did kind of suck.

Iconoclasm: Never let yourself become entangled in someone else’s problem OR It pays to have a god on your side even if that god isn’t really a god.


May 2, 2017

Writing update for April and goals for May

I kinda fell off the wagon with updating about how my writing is going, but I swear I did work on it last month! My original goal was 45 hours for Camp NaNoWriMo, but I lowered it to 30 about halfway through the month when I got sick and fell behind. The good news is that I did reach the 30 hours goal and won Camp! This was my first NaNo win in a while! I didn’t do quite as much work as I liked, but as of May 1st (okay, a day late) I caught up with where I wanted to be.

I spent April adjusting what I have so far of my rewrite/2nd draft of book 1. I had worked on this rewrite months ago and got a little more than halfway through the book, but I knew there were things that I had to fix and I had to refresh my memory about what the heck the current version was about. I filled in a LOT of plot holes in April. Like seriously, it felt like it was more hole than plot. Sheesh. But now that I’m paving over those holes, this is starting to feel like a coherent (and hopefully even good!) story. :D

So my next step is new writing. That’s my goal for May. This is kind of scary because it’s been months and months since I’ve actively written new things for any of my books. I don’t think any of the first draft is sticking around, so I’m also going to be doing a lot of outlining as I try to figure out what the heck is happening in the last third of the story. I have a basic idea of the main events, but no idea of the details and that scares me because I’m a huge planner. Next week may be devoted to outlining rather than writing because I can see myself getting stuck. I know where the next two chapters go, but after that? I have no idea. Hopefully my dorks will dork their way to the end of the book without too much trouble!


My novel, as reviewed by its main characters

This was a fun challenge going around on Tumblr, so I thought I'd share it here, too, since it's writing related. My characters always make me laugh! This is for Book 1 (Colorweaver) since that’s what I’ve been working on this year.

 “A ridiculous story with a happy ending, although I’m still not sure how we pulled that last trick off. Oh, and too many dorks.” - Blythe

 “Not nearly enough pie. … Wait, what do you mean, too many dorks?” - Adair

 “You call that a happy ending? More like an unfortunate addition to the tragic tail that is my life. Err… I meant tale. I better get a more pleasant story in the next book.” - Firedrake

 “Hey guys! Guys guys guys! I heard that I get a much bigger role in book two! Isn’t that great!” - Sol

“I am relieved this drama has been resolved. Now we can return to living quiet, normal lives, for which I am quite thankful. … A second book? It is too late to request transfer to a different author, yes?” - Etri

 “I didn’t even realize until the book was half over that I was the antagonist. Then it took me another quarter to learn what one was! You have to tell me these things, I don’t know what I’m doing. It was just a piece of paper, how’d I know it was going to turn into a me hunt?” - Talan

 “Far far too many dorks. (Who also don’t seem to understand the concept of a review.)” - Blythe again

Apr 1, 2017

Set of character aesthetics for the “Unexpected Inspiration” series and Camp NaNo ramblings

I realized that since I finally remembered to share the last one, I should put them all into one post. I’m really proud of these! For details (and larger pictures) of each aesthetic, they can be found here: Adair, Blythe, Etri, Firedrake, Sol. (I also have a post where I cast each character and gave short info about them here.)

Plus, Camp NaNo! These five are my dorks, the characters who have been traveling with me since NaNo ‘13. I’m slowly but continuously recording their adventures in an lgbt+ comedic fantasy trilogy. For Camp this year I’m planning on continuing my rewrite of book 1 (Colorweaver). I’m calling this my second draft because I’ve only reached “the end” once, but several chapters have been rewritten several times. It’s always hit or miss if I stick with a project for a whole month- or even if I have the energy/time to stick with NaNo a whole month!- but if I decide to work on something else like short stories or book 2, it’ll be about these characters. Here’s to hoping life doesn’t get in the way so I get a lot accomplished this month! I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing regularly, so I could use the kick in the pants of a NaNo to get me moving again.

Here’s the summary for Colorweaver:

Adair Cerulean is a novice cartographer with the ability to make his drawings have the semblance of life. Like the other creators who possess magic and channel this through art, Adair is a Weaver. Adair is in the process of working on the project that, once complete, would advance him in rank when disaster strikes! His map is stolen and as its new owner seeks out more Weavers, Adair feels a tug from his creation to follow. This pull leads him to a carnival where he meets a healer standing guard over a stricken performer. It turns out that his thief is more than a mere robber and there’s more at stake then just a stolen map. Wacky antics ensue as Adair attempts to get his art back and stop the thief before he hurts anyone else.