The AtoZ of EOS_Koi

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AtoZ BADGE 2016Damyanti's AtoZ Divas Badge_Final


Fear takes us down an unexpected road in EOS, a revolutionary Solarpunk story from author Samantha Redstreake Geary, in collaboration with artist Jenny Vyas, featuring music by Really Slow Motion, and groundbreaking graphics via designer Koke Núñez Gómez

A new dawn is on the horizon, where boundaries are broken, diversity is embraced, and an optimistic, creative vision of our future on Earth takes center stage.

EOS is a powerful solarpunk story narrated by FEAR, who tackles real-world issues concerning terrorism, prejudice, and diversity, to near-future technology surrounding sustainable energy that restores the balance between humanity and nature. This isn’t a defeatist tale. It is a look through the lens of positive futurism that showcases the courage, compassion and capabilities of humanity as equal partners in building a bridge to a better tomorrow.

Of Fortunes and Fish

Kumonryu

Masako holds up her hand. She looks at the water and points to a striking black fish with scrolling white markings. “Do you know this koi?”

EOS initiates a new search. “It is a Kumonryu, meaning nine tattooed dragon, which originated in—”

“No,” the woman interrupts. “I am asking about this Kumonryu.”

EOS hesitates, confusion wrinkling her translucent brow.

“Some things you cannot find in a database. Some things are held only in the mind,” Masako brings her hand to her chest, “in the heart. Stories that make something what they are, that make a person who they are.”

“How will I know these things?”

“By asking the right questions and listening to the answers.”

EOS pauses for a moment. “What do you know about the Kumonryu?”

Masako smiles and turns back to the water, a raven curtain falling across her face. “In my country, there is a legend about a Kumonryu that has lived for hundreds of years. Its markings change with the seasons, and every spring it reveals one’s fortune with love. For generations, it has predicted the soulmate for every member of its host family.”

EOS cocks her head, considering the answer. “What do you know about this Kumonryu?

“You learn quickly,” Masako laughs. “This particular fish bears the markings of a fortune.”

EOS stares at the fish. “I do not understand the markings.”

“The art of reading a Kumonryu is a family tradition passed down from mother to daughter.”

EOS understands. “You can read the fortune.”

Masako nods.

“What does it say?”

“Girl of light…follow love…across bridge.”

“What does it mean?” EOS asks, clearly puzzled.

“That, I cannot say.”

Behind the Scenes
– Starring AtoZ rockstars –

Vidya Sury walked alongside a school of vivid koi, a cup of Colombian warming her hands. She found Viridis to be a fitting sanctuary for mindful living–a place of peace and tranquility, where she and her son could set down roots and watch possibility flourish. She suspected a special kind of magic raced through the waters of Viridis, and she was more than happy to live under its spell. Vidya spied her friend Michelle across the canal and waved. Another beautiful smile to add to her collection.  

Michelle Wallace sat near the waterfall’s edge where she tossed crumbs to a comical black and white koi and chatted about her favorite literary works from friends across the globe with Zalka. After an arduous journey from South Africa, she was relieved to see so many familiar faces attending the summit and couldn’t wait to meet up with them over bottles of wine and witty banter.    

Rafael invited renowned Hungarian storyteller, Zalka Csenge Virág, to Viridis to discuss diversity and representation in traditional stories. Having recently returned from the whirlwind tour for her, Tales of Superhuman Powers, Csenge was thrilled to settle into such an inspiring setting for the duration of April.

Sitting across from Michelle and Zalka, having an animated discussion with the empty chairs beside him, was Roland Yeomans. He was, in fact, debating the challenge of writing via free association with the ghosts of Twain and Freud. They both agreed he should stick to something clever, like The Not-So-Innocents Abroad, and perhaps be a tad more subtle when talking to invisible friends. Even the fish were giving him a wide berth.

Really Slow Motion – Battle Angel – Reborn – James Minas, Lydia Davies

RSM


EOS Commenting Contest

Swing by and leave us a comment for a chance to WIN a digital copy of RSM’s latest public album, Battle Angel!

Each Comment = One Entry 

Battle Angel_RSM

EOS Review Contest

Starting April 1st, I’ll reveal sensory-rich sneak peeks into the world of EOS, a futuristic sci fi solarpunk short story available on AMAZON for $0.99Post a REVIEW of EOS on AMAZON by May 31st and you’ll be entered to WIN a signed copy of RSM’s Battle Angel and signed limited edition print from painter, Jenny Vyas!

Add EOS on Goodreads!

EOS_Amazon Cover

The Bridge Between Lost and Found

Welcome to “The Bridge Between Lost and Found”, starring the winners of our commenting contest, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Crystal Collier, Yolanda Renee, Lisa Shambrook, C. Lee McKenzie, Roland Yeomans, Djinnia (Mandy), Denise Covey, Michelle Wallace, Arlee Bird and Mikkel Heimbürger. 

Colossal Trailer Music – Headless Body in Topless Bar – Snow Angels – Benjamin Zecker

In a sleepy little town nuzzled in the North Carolina mountains, down a yawning stretch of tree-lined gravel, leaning precariously over the embrace of two rushing rivers, was a peculiar place where lost things went to be found…

It was rumored that the rivers themselves reunited the patrons of Mik’s ‘Lost and Found Bar & Grill’ with what they sought. The legend, birthed around a twenty-first century campfire, ran through the waters into the gullible ears of those caught in its currents. It was a tragic tale of a young schoolteacher who was fatally afflicted, and the damaged soldier who loved her. The boy, determined to discover a way to save her, had stumbled upon a hidden shelter where they could live their remaining days in peace. She was to meet him on the bridge beneath the full snow moon. Sheets of ice had coated the planks, and the waters below grew restless. Before he could reach her, his traitorous leg buckled, sending him into the foaming mouth of a waterfall that swallowed him whole. The bridge bore the weight of the girl’s spirit ever since, her fiery hair seen trailing in phantom winds as she mourned the love she had lost that fateful fourteenth of February.   

Colossal Trailer Music – Headless Body in Topless Bar – Chaplin Walking – Oli Jogvansson

The locals suspected the sorcery was more likely in Arlee’s white bean chili. A spry chef with an enviable mustache and a mean bottle of moonshine, Arlee safeguarded his recipes as if they were the culinary equivalent to the holy grail.

Mik, the playful proprietor with a penchant for fixing things, and his wife, Yolanda, an amiable force with a fondness for matchmaking, welcomed customers every day of the year for nearly nine decades without divulging a single secret. But that did little to deter anyone within a hundred mile radius from lining up at their door. Valentine’s Day became especially popular, as folks were eager to feed upon riverside favorites that came with a side of spooky star-crossed love.

Colossal Trailer Music – Headless Body in Topless Bar – Skeletons Dance – Claudie Mackula

There was no sense in asking their staff, of course, for they were even more eccentric than their employers. For starters, their busboy refused to wear a shirt. Unsuspecting diners would get an earful of fire prevention tips while Roland, tall and topless, cleared nearby tables.

The waitresses, Michelle and Mandy, were a pair of charming identical twin teens who were reportedly adopted by the owners back in 2066, and refused to grow up. Mandy continuously serenaded customers with random song lyrics, while Michelle broke into dance routines at irregular intervals to the delight of the dinner crowd. During the lunch hour, the resident poet laureate, Lisa, would deliver a passionate helping of lyrical prose whether they ordered it or not. Breakfast was often a dicey affair when Denise served up sweet potato pancakes with stinging psych evaluations. Diners either had a breakthrough by the time they finished their hash browns, or they left with a doggy bag of egg salad and shame.

Their cashier, Lee, was also a bit bizarre. She shared heated opinions regarding one’s dietary decisions, often leaving patrons with a customized health plan highlighted beside their bill if they consumed anything deep fried.

Colossal Trailer Music – Headless Body in Topless Bar – Hansel and Pretzel – Snorre Tidemand

But the most curious character of them all was Crystal. A striking, red-headed girl who, despite the sixty years spent hostessing, never looked a day over twenty. A wealth of knowledge, she knew even the most obscure historical details. And there was the small matter of her head tilting at odd angles.

The public was more than willing to overlook any peculiarities the minute their food arrived.  

“How many?” Crystal asked, marking off names in the holoscreen.

“Two,” a boy squeaked.

“Some crazy bloke is on the bridge,” a voice snickered from the doorway.  

Her fingers froze in midair. She squinted out the window and shook her head. It wasn’t safe on the bridge this time of year. She knew better than most. She brushed past the line of bundled customers and stepped into the bitter cold that clouded their breaths.  

“Hello?” she called out. The vexing wind whipped around her head, tempting it loose. “The bridge is closed!” she warned, though truthfully, she made a habit of strolling across it every night. 

The man came closer, something about his gait seemed…familiar. He stepped off the bridge with a lopsided smile.

Colossal Trailer Music – Headless Body in Topless Bar – Moon Spell – Alexandros Nikolaidis

“Alex!?” she shouted, darting towards him, hope surging through her, but the momentum caught her head off guard. It toppled from her shoulders onto the snow, where it rolled across the space between them and landed at his feet. 

He bent down and gingerly picked up her head, carried it back to her empty shoulders, and secured it as best he could, considering.

“I see you’re still head over heels for me.”

Crystal wrapped her arms around him. “How…how are you…here?”

“Some kids found me a few months ago while they were camping. Took them awhile to restore my basic functions. After sixty years stuck under a rock, it was no easy task,” he whispered into her hair. “I’m relieved to see you’re safe.”

“It’s everything you said it would be.” She leaned into him.

Alex held her face between his hands. “So they’re not quick to disassemble you for having a screw loose?” he asked with a grin.

“They encourage it,” she smiled. “And there’s more of us, Alex. From all over the country. Entertainers, a nurse and psychologist, a literature professor, even a fireman. All of them damaged…like us.”

“Damaged or not, you’re worth more than a hundred new droids.” Alex reached into his pocket and pulled out a small metal object. “I was planning on giving you this gift before I went for a swim.” He placed the object in her hand.

It was a replacement titanium screw for her head. Something impossible to find in a world that considered her obsolete. In that moment, she felt the power of connection. Of acceptance. Of love. And for the first time in her existence, she understood why humans celebrated it.

© 2016 Samantha Redstreake Geary 

996 words


 Music Contest

Share your thoughts on our bizarre Tim Burton-inspired love story and Danny Elfmanesque music in the comments section below by February 24th for a chance to WIN a digital copy of Colossal’s enchanting album, Headless Body in Topless Bar!

Congrats to our album winners and many thanks to our composers, writerly cohorts and readers for joining our quirky adventure!

 Winners

Roland Yeomans
Crystal Hicken Collier
Denise Covey

Reflections of a Dreamer

InsecureWritersSupportGroupIWSG meets the first Wednesday of every month. A community of brilliant writers led by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Visit the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website and database! You’ll find  everything from writing to marketing, along with encouragement and support!

It’s fitting that today is IWSG. Seeing as how Alex has been an unfailing supporter since my online debut back in March of 2013, it’s no surprise that he’s a winner of a Biltmore-themed commenter prize!

And many composer collaborations later, I’ve finally cajoled Alex into joining my latest EPIC event with audiomachine! More details on the PHENOMENA project will be announced this FRIDAY! We’re accepting writing & art entries for audiomachine’sEpic Heroes” contest through May 15th, so tap into your imaginations and join the fun!A-to-Z Reflection [2014]

I want to send out my heartfelt thanks to everyone who stopped by during the crazy month that is April’s A to Z Challenge to take a peek at my upcoming Biltmore-inspired YA novel “Architects of Illusion“! This novel series is my biggest, most ambitious project to date. Needless to say, I was anxious to hear feedback. I truly value your comments and the time you spent in my world. The show of encouragement from gracious readers & inspiring composers alike have bolstered my passion for this story and will continue to push me towards achieving my DREAM!

Special thanks to my additional commenting winners–you guys rock! (Shoot me an email with your address to receive your Biltmore-goodies:)

Michelle Wallace

C. Lee McKenzie

SD Neeve

Djinnia

Yolanda Renee

To say April was a busy month would be the understatement of the year. Between novel edits, running an international album promotion for PHENOMENA, teaching an AMAZING group of gifted teens through Elevate Life & Art, planning a big book trailer, in collaboration with audiomachine, for Grammarly’s groundbreaking GrammoWriMo Novel, “The Lonely Wish-Giver” (which I also contributed to), AND juggling commenting/minion duties for the incredible #TeamDamyanti (muwah!)–I was ready to drown myself in a barrel of Biltmore wine!

With well over 2K participants, the Challenge was a huge success! There were so many awesome posts I enjoyed, and many more I didn’t have the chance to read. I hope to catch up on what I missed over the next few months. I loved meeting new folks and exchanging witty fun with familiar “faces”. You’re all welcome here anytime, where the bar, the banter, and the imagination, are always open.


PHENOMENA Cover PHENOMENA’s EPIC HEROES CONTEST

Calling all WRITERS & ARTISTS

Create an original superhero for a chance to be PUBLISHED in an audiomachine ebook!

Open APRIL 15th through MAY 15th.

Spirit of the Blue Swallow

Feather Ball created by Visionary Glass Arts

In honor of my dear friend, Michelle Wallace of Writer-in-Transit, I’ve created a special tribute to the spirit of Ubuntu–a humanist ideal hailing from South Africa which, roughly translated, means “human kindness”, a beautiful idea embodying the essence of connection, community, and mutual compassion.

We live in a more interconnected world. Each of us is capable of using our skills and gifts for the greater good of humanity.

I invite you to discover the many amazing tributes of my fellow writers listed here.

Joining me in this collaborative journey is German artist, MikroMatique, also known as the brilliant cinematic composer, Sandro Schmidt, whose breathtaking music is beyond inspiring.

Featured inspirational track ▶ Tears of Angels

______________________________

The sky is ablaze with angry red streaks that claw their way across the horizon, casting the solitary structure and the surrounding bones of Baobab trees in shadows that shift with the sleeping sun.

Our salvation hovers in the space between solid and specter.

The metal rhino screeches to a halt, its armored plates slipping and sliding along the massive body. Steam rises from its snout, curling up a pair of formidable horns to collide with clouds of chalk that coat the glass.  The automaton driver snaps open the steel jaws of the carriage, jolting me from the velvet seat.

My trembling grip on Chipo’s fingers tighten, his small hand steady and sure, ignorant of the peril awaiting him. I couldn’t bear to tell him. He followed me blindly, never questioning the frantic actions dragging us halfway across the thirsty grasslands. I’ve enough fear for the both of us.

Crisp air creeps under my threadbare coat, nipping at skin laced with sweat. I pull at the leather straps near my brother’s neck, willing the fading warmth to wrap around his frail frame. He tilts his head and smiles up at me, his eyes, one a glowing amber, the other a vibrant blue, reflect an unfailing trust.

He was an unexpected gift, one we guarded fiercely for seven years. He was safe, until the day our baba and mai were killed. We were sent across the valley to my father’s brother, whose drive to drink drove his debt beyond the reach of two extra mouths. Within a week, our guardian gloated over the generous roora offered for my hand by a powerful clan near the Zambezi river.

My brother was to be sold into a life of servitude stretching far across the valley towards the east mountains–his fate left to the cruel devices of a society that will deem him damaged by the strange silence and ceaseless calm that surrounds him. They will poke and prod and pierce until his secret spills from his blood.

There is no hope for an imperfect boy in a perfect world.

So we stole away in the steel cage of the General’s son, chasing the breath of a chance to a place steeped in magic and mystery.

I edge closer to the timber and iron door, the promise of heat seeping from beneath. The slice of light grows wider with unseen hands, tendrils of sweetly-scented smoke beckoning us forward. A massive fire roars in the center of the spherical room, its flames glinting off iron rivers that run along a network of intricate symbols carved into the rough serpentine walls.

I call out into the cavernous room, my voice swallowed by a sea of glass chimes. Chipo tugs at my sleeve, his chin tilting towards the sky, eyes wide with wonder.

My gaze is drawn to the vaulted timber ceiling where hundreds of clear orbs wink in the firelight. They float above us in all manner of shapes and sizes, their centers swimming with soft, spirited colors.

“What is this place?” I ask, more to myself.

“The place where dreams are born,” a deep voice answers.

I snap my head forward to find a woman standing near the fire pit, swathed in sheer emerald robes embroidered with glowing gold that reflects the warmth of her crinkled eyes. Her ebony skin is crisscrossed with the lines of a long life.

“Where dreams are protected,” another figure appears, taking the shape of a beautiful woman near the age of our mother, her flawless features resembling sculpted Shona stone. The shimmering scarlet of her dress flickers as if made of fire.

“Where dreams take flight,” a young girl whispers from the shadows, materializing near the growing flames. The light dances on rounded caramel cheeks dusted with freckles and glints off a gossamer gown that swirls about her ankles in vivid shades of liquid indigo.

I pull Chipo behind me and back up slowly towards the door.

“No need to fear us. We mean you no harm,” the older woman offers. “Quite the opposite, in fact. I am Rutendo,  the guardian of Faith. “ She gestures towards the motherly figure. “This is Rudo, guardian of Love.”

The young ethereal girl steps forward. “And I’m Tariro, keeper of—”

“Hope,” I mumble, my mind trying to wrap around an astonishing truth . “The legends are true.” Chipo ducks under my arm to stand beside me.

“There’s a grain of truth in many myths, Mudiwa,” Rutendo smiles warmly.

“How–how do you know me?”

“We know all our children, beloved.” Rudo glances upward, sweeping her open palm towards the glittering glass.

“What are they?” I ask, following her gaze.

“They’re the hopes and dreams of every living child,” Tariro breathes reverently.

“Each feather represents the spirit behind the dream,” Rutendo says affectionately.

“Some are collective hopes—their spirits joined together to achieve a common dream,” Rudo adds, plucking a rounded ball from the air. Four multicolored feathers swirled within its crystal walls.

Like the hopes of a family, I think to myself. The broken dreams of my parents dig into the fresh wounds of their loss. I can’t do this alone. I can’t save Chipo without them.

“What troubles you so, child?” Rudo asks gently.

“My brother. He’s…a natural born. Unmodified. Unaltered,” I bite back the anxiety of long buried secrets. “My parents never reported him, or his…imperfections. Interactions with others is difficult for him. He rarely speaks…even to me. But he can sense things no one else can. See and hear beyond our capabilities, even with our genetically perfected pedigree,” I snort. “He has a gift. But our society wouldn’t take the time to understand it. Without our protection, he’ll be labeled an outcast…or worse.”

I glance at my brother, balancing precariously on a wooden stool to graze the glinting glass balls with his fingertips. A laugh escapes his lips that’s more magical a sound than the enchanting chimes falling around us.

“Other hopes belong to a single spirit, and it is up to them alone, to see it fly.” Tariro cradles a long, translucent orb in her cupped hands. Inside floats a solitary feather painted a lustrous, metallic blue. “This is a feather of the Blue Swallow—a rare and magical bird wiped from the skies over a century ago. They were the closest creatures to the divine. The swiftest flyers of the land, soaring into the sky above all others, delivering messages to the Great Spirit. They are a guide to those who are conscious dreamers, capable of greatness,” she glances lovingly at Chipo, “however misunderstood.”

Chipo hops down from the stool and walks over to Tariro, cocking his head at the fragile feather in her grasp. He brushes the glass with his fingers, a strange, knowing smile lifting his lips.

Tariro places the Blue Swallow feather into his hand. “It belongs to an extraordinary spirit. One just as rare, just as magical, who swims in the tears of angels and whispers in the ear of the divine.”

Chipo walks over to face me, the gleaming swallow feather held between us. He tilts his head and brushes away the salty rivulets running down my face. “Don’t worry, Mudiwa. I can do it,” he whispers, “I can fly.”

He opens up his palm and smiles as his hopes and dreams float back to the sky in a cascade of chimes and a child’s laughter.


© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary

ubuntu-blog-hop

Many Branches, One Tree

InsecureWritersSupportGroupIWSG meets the first Wednesday of every month. A community of brilliant writers led by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – Tree of Life

For this month’s post, I want to send my heartfelt thanks to the talented group of writers that exceeded the Tree of Life: Branching Out challenge I set out before them in a way I never would have dreamed.

Each of these writers possess a unique gift for the written word. They collectively merged their storytelling skills to create an overwhelmingly beautiful saga, wrought with meaning and woven with the essence of music.

With each new voice, the epic tale grew, branching out in unique ways that reflected the individual while honoring the whole.

I am in awe of their abilities, their strength, their enthusiasm and their support.

I may have planted the seed, but it is you who breathed life into it. Rooted in passion, it thrived on your imagination.

You are the branches of this, the Tree of Life.

It is an honor to have worked with you, and on behalf of audiomachine and myself, I cannot thank you enough for the incredible journey…treeoflife_branchingout_badge

Amy Willoughby-Burle, John Wiswell, M. Pax, Al Diaz, Gary Philip Pennick, DL Hammons, Susan Scott, Ruth Long, Djinnia, Daniel Swensen, KC Hunter, Shannon Kenoyer Lawrence, Tina Downey, Beverly Fox, Michelle Wallace, Mina Lobo, Gwen Gardner, Angela Brown, Lisa Shambrook, Sarah Wesson, Leighton Williams, Elise Fallson, Vidya Sury, Damyanti Biswas and C. Lee McKenzie

Tree of Life Composers:
Paul Dinletir
Kevin Rix
Danail Getz
Jeff Marsh
Steffan Michael Koch
John A. Graves

Special thanks to:

Marc D’Amour of audiomachine, for his continued support of this project!

Jennifer Redstreake Geary who gave our collaboration a visually stunning logo!

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Tree of Life: Branching Out Featuring Michelle Wallace

treeoflife_branchingout_badgeWelcome to the TREE OF LIFE: Branching Out collaborative writing challenge, where creative minds meet epic movie music. To read the collective story in its entirety as it unfolds and for more details on this groundbreaking collaboration with Audiomachine click HERE.

Today’s featured guest is the skilled stringer of words, Michelle Wallace. Visit Michelle over at Writer in Transit, where the journey never ends!

* Listen to the inspiring track from Audiomachine’s Tree of Life album featured in the sidebar music player

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine -Life Chronicles – Tree of Life

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She felt the power of the gift as the ongoing conflict raged within. It was both wondrous and terrifying at the same time, as it boosted her spirit and sapped every ounce of strength from her body.

“Who are you?” Zoe enquired of this sage, whose countenance told a tale of ageless wisdom.

“I am nobody and I am everybody. I am you and you are me. We have met before, at some place, at some point in time, and yet this is our first conscious encounter.”

“I don’t understand.”

“All life vibrates in a never-ending dance within every atom of our being, which leads to our continuously changing nature.”

She struggled to comprehend, to hold on, yet knew that she had to relinquish the familiar and go where this wondrous change would lead her.

Adam smiled knowingly. “You cannot escape that which has been preordained. From the moment of your birth, through every step of your life’s journey, everything has been leading up to this moment.”

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© 2013 Michelle Wallace

ATTENTION FANS: You can WIN an autographed TREE OF LIFE Audiomachine album by LEAVING COMMENTS! On August 17th, two lucky readers will be chosen at random from the comments section of the story excerpts. The more you comment–the better your chances are of winning a piece of cinematic history! We want to hear from YOU!

Tree of Life_Album Cover

TREE OF LIFE is available NOW! Click on the following links:

Purchase a CD from CD Baby
Download it from iTunes
Stream it on Spotify      Download it from Amazon       Purchase a CD from Amazon