Tree of Life: Chimera is a collaborative journey in epic writing, where I had a blast interpreting the soaring cinematic tracks of audiomachine’s Tree of Life album, to create an original, music-driven tale.
Every artist–whether a painter or poet, dancer or director, storyteller or sculptor, choreographer or composer–is driven by their passion to create. When you let your passion guide you, great things are born. It is when these passions converge that the real magic happens.
My passion lies in pulling the threads of imagination that live and breath in each eager note until I have woven a story worthy of the song.
On September 18th, I unveiled excerpts of the Chimera serial, each one featuring an inspirational album track. As the story unfolded, readers had the opportunity to win daily prizes such as signed novels and ebooks from our exciting lineup of featured authors. I highlighted each of these amazing writers, who graciously donated their novels, during the course of the promotion under a special “what inspires you” segment! Fans left their feedback in the comments section of the daily chapters for a chance to win!
▶ Winners of the daily featured author prizes were announced on November 1st, HERE!
Creative ventures tend to take on a life of their own, and this one was no different. Chimera is currently under development for a future video game release and is closed for viewing.
Chapter 1: The Legend Begins — Featuring Author Alex J. Cavanaugh
Chapter 2: The Great Unknown — Featuring Author Stacey Jay
Chapter 3: The New World — Featuring Author Maggie Stiefvater
Chapter 4: Hope and Glory — Featuring Author Susan Kaye Quinn
Chapter 5: Hallowed Dawn — Featuring Author C. Lee McKenzie
Chapter 6: Leaving the Nest — Featuring Author M. Pax
Chapter 7: Apotheosis — Featuring Author Chris Howard
Chapter 8: The Truth — Featuring Author Gwen Gardner
Chapter 9: Homecoming — Featuring Author Shana Abé
Chapter 10: Breaking Through — Featuring Author Amy Willoughby-Burle
Chapter 11: Ashes to Ashes — Featuring Author Angela Brown
Chapter 12: Across the Horizon — Featuring Author Yolanda Renee
Chapter 13: Cry Freedom — Featuring Author Mina Lobo
Chapter 14: Turning Point — Featuring Author KC Hunter
Chapter 15: Above and Beyond — Featuring Author Ellie Garratt
Chapter 16: Life Chronicles — Featuring Author Susan Scott
Chapter 17: Solstice Sun — Featuring Author Lisa Shambrook
Chapter 18: Remember the Titans — Featuring Author Roland Yeomans
Tree of Life Flash Fiction Challenge
In the spirit of creative collaborations, we invited writers to create their own music-inspired tale. Beginning September 18th, fans posted their flash-fiction of no more than 150 words and their favorite inspiring Tree of Life track in the comments section of this page to enter our Tree of Life Flash Fiction Challenge! One entry per person, open internationally, deadline to enter was October 14th by midnight EST. This was their moment to shine!
The winners of the Tree of Life: Branching Out collaborative writing challenge chose their Top 5 favorites to send over to audiomachine’s composers for final judging. The Top 2 Winners were awarded signed Tree of Life albums by celebrated composer, Paul Dinletir!
Top 5 Favorites
Julia for “Ashes to Ashes”, Moira for “Life Chronicles”, Sam for “Above and Beyond”, Dijinnia for “The Fire Within”, Susan for ”Turning Point”
“Our favorite two entries are Moira and Dijinnia. All five were great, but these two stood out to us.” — audiomachine
Should you become a slap-happy fan of audiomachine’s cinematic genius, subscribe to their YT channel and “like” them on FB! If you feel equally compelled to purchase their music, follow your instincts to the following locations:
Amazon MP3 Store
A portion of the proceeds from each audiomachine album sale will be donated directly to the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, an organization that helps enrich the lives of students through the power of music.
And now for our list of master storytellers who graciously donated the following for your reading pleasure! Be sure to visit their websites to learn more about these amazing authors:
Maggie Stiefvater — signed copy of The Dream Thieves with signed and hand-designed bookplate
Shana Abé — signed copies of The Sweetest Dark and The Deepest Night
Stacey Jay — signed copy Of Beast and Beauty
Chris Howard — signed copy of Rootless
Susan Kaye Quinn —The Debt Collector Season one ebooks
Ellie Garratt — Taking Time and Passing Time ebooks
M. Pax — The Backworlds audiobook and The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear ebook
Alex J. Cavanaugh — signed copy of CassaStorm
Alexandra Monir — signed copies of Timeless and Timekeeper as well as the Timeless album of original songs from the series
Amy Willoughby-Burle — signed copy of Out Across the Nowhere
C. Lee McKenzie — signed copy of Alligators Overhead
Susan Scott — In Praise of Lilith, Eve & the Serpent in the Garden of Eden & Other Stories ebook
Angela Brown — Neverlove and Atone ebooks
Gwen Gardner — signed copy of Givin’ Up The Ghost with signed bookmark
KC Hunter — The Immanent World ebook
Yolanda Renee — signed copy of Memories of Murder
Mina Lobo — That Fatal Kiss ebook
Lisa Shambrook — Beneath the Rainbow ebook
Roland Yeomans— END OF DAYS audiobook and HER BONES ARE IN THE BADLANDS ebook
22 thoughts on “audiomachine’s Tree of Life: Chimera”
Wonderful books! Dragon is very excited already. 😀
Father Dragon is always excited about the best of things. Dwarves must be under control this day. 🙂
Hahaha, dwarves are almost always in their best behavior 😉 Dragon hugs!
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I believe being hugged by a dragon brings us good luck. I need that, so hug away.
This is awesome! I like that a portion of the proceeds is helping the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra.
I think my favorite track is “Life Chronicles,” but it was an incredibly tough choice! “Ashes to Ashes” remains another favorite, as well as “The New World.”
I’ve included my flash fiction below!
Huddled in the shadow of the rocks, they watched as dawn broke over the ruined plain. Sunlight glinted off twisted metal, a scar and a crater where each vessel had fallen to earth. Where there had been a city, smoke billowed, wind carrying it away from the shattered spires, the Tower of the Gods broken in two, its stone and metal twisted, the jewel-like minaret no longer catching the sun’s first rays. Menuha could see flames licking at the rubble of the city, and she closed her eyes before she looked to find the building where she had been sleeping only hours earlier.
“It is time to go,” said the princess.
“We are not going back?” Menuha asked, and the princess looked over, eyes bright with tears.
“No,” she said, her voice hoarse. “Whoever you left behind you, they are dead now. First, we survive. Life comes before death.”
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This is accompanied by ‘Homecoming’…
She flicked her tail and gazed across the foaming crests, huge black eyes rested on two silhouettes on the beach. Her heart pounded within her ribcage and as the sun began to drop she allowed its warm rays to caress her glistening skin as water lapped against her rock.
She slid into the water, swimming with ease against the outgoing tide. Seals bobbed in acquiescence as she slipped through the rippling waves.
Reaching the shore, she rested and flipped her tail, splashing one last time. Sun bathed her body as she stepped out of her pelt. A smile painted her lips as she ran a finger down the white lace draping the rock. Silk clung to her form as she crossed the sand. Before the priest, she turned to her love offering both a smile, as radiant as the evening sun, and her treasured pelt.
And there two destinies entwined.
(150 Words excluding title)
Here it is. I had such a hard time choosing my piece of music. I had to have a friend give me her opinion of the final six pieces.
This piece is written to Fire Within.
White walls rose in the distance, pennants flying overhead. He halted his men on the road’s rise to gaze upon the splendid sight. Excited murmurs rose among them. The road had been long and the journey perilous, but this scene made it all worth it.
He motioned them onwards
The city’s great gates swung open to reveal a cobbled street lined with citizens decked out in their best garments. Cheers arose as the procession entered the city. Rose petals flooded the air from the rooftops and swirled around the men and horses.
They raised their hands, acknowledging the welcome, as they traveled up the rise.
He spurred his horse forward, unwilling to wait further.
The cacophony melted away when he saw her. Jumping down from his horse, he ran up the steps, taking her into his arms. He held her face and kissed her.
Home. He was home.
My flash fiction accompanies the track “Ashes to Ashes”
200 Years in the Future
What makes legends of men? Is it the great deeds they do while alive or the small men who sing of them after they are gone?
I have often wondered beneath the bullets and blood, hidden behind a shroud that I’ve been denied the ability to open, if there is some great cause or sanction for which we are laying down our very lives amidst the forgotten unknown.
Uncharted, we forge ahead; abandoned we struggle to survive; and these fading memories to which I cling slowly begin to disappear, fleeing into the distance along with the hope of our escape.
I am tired. Helplessly I watch as my brothers, sisters in arms fall beside me. This blood drying into my skin, is it theirs? Is it mine?
Cold as ice I wonder will I survive, or will I too become another frigid landmark buried alone, thousands of miles from home?
Inspired by “Above and Beyond”. Enjoy!
The sun was bathing the awaiting earth below in its warmth and wisps of cloud drifted to lands beyond the horizon. He was relieved, yet also saddened. Too tired to stop his fall he began to relive the journey he and Searia had gone through together. Maybe in the next life he could find the peace they longed for.
Searia watched in horror as Kiro fell from the sky.
“Fly,” she said, tears streaming from crystal eyes. He always recovered. Always he came back to her. “Fly…”
She began to sing. Silver light radiated from beneath her as her song carried into the sky.
Kiro’s eyes snapped open flaring with white flame. He roared in defiance. Enough was enough. This time, it would be different. He grasped onto Searia’s song and fed it into his wings causing them to blaze. This time, he would return to Searia.
“How come we can’t just go around it? Is it necessary we go through this storm?” The apprentice asked.
The wizard raised his eyebrows at the question. Tilting his head to his student, he replied. “One cannot merely avoid a storm. There will always, always, be storms in the ocean.” The girl blinked, confused about what he said. The wizard sighed, and continued.
“Life, my apprentice, is like the sea. It is an everlasting acreage with tranquil beauty. The majestic brilliance of the open waters stretches outwards with no bounds for miles till world’s end. Adventure lurks around every corner. The Sea, the greatest linkage between the continents and islands of the planet! Islands – titanic mountains hidden away by the subtle cloak of the ocean…” The wizard sighed, deep in thought. “However…”
“…this tranquility does not remain permanent. Chaos beckons.”
Inspired by ‘Across the Horizon’
I hope my simple command of English will suffice. Here is my entry.
Inspiration: Above and Beyond
Title: Achieving Greater Heights
Word Count: 149
This was the last time I would address my students before their final trial begun.
“I was 18 once, and sat in this very examination hall too. One of my own teachers taught me this Chinese idiom – ‘Zi Qiang Bu Xi’. It encourages us to press on and never yield in the face of adversity.”
I paced the hall, looking each student in the eye.
“Today is the aggregate of years of hard work. Now is your chance to shine.”
The brief silence lasted forever. I had hoped my message would help them. Was I wrong?
In the corner, someone – a regular troublemaker, in fact – started to tear up. He begun softly clapping…and the rest of the room soon followed.
Wiping my own stream of tears, I concluded: “I have been honoured with the opportunity to mentor all of you. May all of us soar to achieve greater heights.”
Written with “Final Hope” in mind. (149 words)
Victory. Hope. Love. Such things do not come without cost. But what is spent, is not spent lightly.
A world lay behind me, and yet another in front of me. I peered into the sky as I took my first few steps into a foreign sunlight, my last chance of returning home dissipating to naught. Mankind would forever see me as their adversary, the one who denied them the adventure of a lifetime. But this world was not theirs to taint, nor would it ever be.
Shouts of joy resounded across the plains, and I saw them – two of them, no older than seven – and I kneeled with open arms. Caught in the embrace, they held fast with tears in their eyes.
I would likely never see my own kind again, but that would be the price I would have to pay.
And it was all worth it.
Inspired by ‘Breaking through’
Short fiction in Poetry form!
Questing through shadow
Allow me to run where the moon not shines
And where man has yet to travel
Run through time so that I might find
The things that not unravel
I need to find what lasts forever
That do not decay with time
What is the thing that lasts forever?
I need to make it mine
So I run through shadows the wind has not seen
To find the answers that I seek
Finding things that have not been
Yet just glimpsing the barest peek
The bits that keep me going
Though sometimes I fill with fear
But I know the quest it keeps me growing
Yet fearing it is only lies I hear
But going is the only option
It fills my heart with life
Giving up is just a notion
The search keeps me alive.
My flash fiction is written for “The Great Unknown”.
Like some already said, the choice was a tough one 😉
Now there he stood, nothing held him back anymore. Innumerable times he had dreamt to explore the world and to experience the stories, he had listened to, firsthand. With each further step he would leave behind a piece of his home and stride straight into an adventure.
The sun sent its first warming rays over the dark silhouette of the mountains at his back. The woods at his feet stretched for as far as the eye could see, the treetops surged gently in the fresh morning breeze. Birds greeted the dawning day with their calls. The air smelled of matutinal dew interwoven with the aromatic scents of the forest.
He took a deep breath, then he set off into the wild. Looking back for the last time, he recalled a saying of bygone days: “Remember where you come from, or you might never return”. He would never forget the words.
I couldn’t decide between “The Truth” and “Lady in the Water”, in the end, “Lady in the Water” won. (149 words)
They say that there will never again be a voice like hers. She was the lake’s favorite child, her voice resonating perfectly with the water. Everything around her went quiet whenever she sang. The wind calmed down so the rustle of leaves would not disturb her, and the water would stop splashing against the shore, so no noise could contaminate the melody that floated over the lake.
She was beautiful and kind. With the innocence of a newborn and the wisdom of an old soul that made her seem ethereal. When she died, trees swayed violently, and the waters roared with waves. Her body was released into the lake, letting her rest in the place that was her second home.
They say that there will never again be a voice like hers.
There is a girl in the lake, who sings until your heart breaks.
Here’s my flash-fiction (150 words)! I had a hard time deciding on which song I liked best, but I finally ended up with “Tree of Life”.
He was a wanderer, trudging through the charred metal ruins. The only thing keeping him going was hope: the legend of a small tree that, at the bleakest time, would restore the land back to its former glory. But after months of fruitless searching, the hope was fading. The traveller collapsed onto the dark ground. As his head fell to the ashes, his hand touched something slender. With his last ounce of strength, he looked down. It was a live sapling. As he watched, amazed, the sapling began to grow, soaring upwards in a majestic wreath of light. As the tree’s branches spread, the light suddenly pulsed once. When it faded, the earth was covered in rich green grass and a verdant forest. Sunlight poured through, and a roaring stream weaved its way through the landscape. In the center of the new earth was the tree. The Tree of Life.
Inpired by ‘Apotheosis’. Short and simple but pregnant.
I hope I made not too many mistakes refered to my English. Greetings form Germany! 🙂
Men! Listen! Listen, my followers. The time has come when the future depends on our deeds. Gods will fall and others will rise but our will is stronger than any fate. If we stand together there is nothing I fear. Behind those walls of ignorance and greed, behind inhumanity and traditions lies what we are seeking.
I say unto you one day liberty rises among those people who take back the responsibility for their lives from the grim hands of unknown and unseen rulers, from cold and apathetic gods.
And now this day has come! Stand together, fight together and take back what is yours!
Ree stood over the sink in her cheery yellow kitchen, blade trembling in her right hand, poised over the blueish white skin of her left forearm. She was waiting for the creature to show itself again. It was a moment she was not looking forward to. Pain, blood, fear.
The creature within writhed and poked her flesh in anticipation of its release. Ree knew it was anxious. Freedom at last after years of darkness. The girl was determined as she touched the blade to skin-it had been a part of her since birth, and was also female. Having grown inside her body, maximum size was now achieved.
Ree slowly cut into her arm. She would miss the company. To be one would feel—different. It was time. The next steps would be taken alone for each of them. Freedom for both. Worlds to discover!
I just wanted to say bravo to everyone who entered a flash fiction piece. Every single entry was a real treat to read which makes it all the more difficult to choose a favorite. Cheers to all the authors giving away books and to Samantha for putting together this challenge, it’s been a amazing. (:
I’ll say what Elise said. It was a fun adventure. Can’t wait to see who wins the Flash Fiction tomorrow.