Last Day to Enter for ARC

Posted: December 29th, 2013 under ARC, contest.

OK, it’s less than 12 hours to the deadline.   Time for all who haven’t put their name in the hat for an ARC of Crown of Renewal to come up with a little “Midwinter Tale” (it can be short.  It’s not going to be judged on anything but its existence in the comments section of this post) and email it to the ARC Contest post by midnight tonight.

Each person who enters will have one chance to win one of two ARCs up for grabs, no matter how many tales you enter…though I admit a special glow of thanks to those who entered more than one.    A random number generator will toss me the numbers, and I will announce the winners tomorrow (if we don’t have a power outage or something else happens to prevent me…this is winter, after all, even in Texas.)    Winners will then have 48 hours to send me their package-mail address, and the books will go out by the end of the week (I’m not sure when our local post office will close, other than New Year’s Day, but it often has restricted hours around holidays.)

Ideas come not to those who wait, but those who set fingers to the keyboard and start.  9.5 hours is plenty of time for a couple of paragraphs.


  • Comment by Iphinome — December 30, 2013 @ 12:06 am


    I show it as

    1 lise
    2 Annabel
    3 Wickersham’s Conscience
    4 Jenn
    5 Jonathan Schor
    6 Nadine Barter Bowlus
    7 Mette
    8 GinnyW
    9 Fred
    10 Gareth
    11 Daniel Glover
    12 Iphinome
    13 pjm
    14 Catmadknitter
    15 Linda (though there seems to be some confusion about a deleted post)

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 30, 2013 @ 12:19 am


    Thanks for the checkup, Iphinome. Your list agrees with mine. However, I’m wiped and will do the randomizing in the morning. Another Paksworld story sucked me in late last week and then tied itself in a knot…and this evening, after much wailing and woeing, it unkinked and allowed me to finish it. It’s been read aloud to husband and has gone by email to Alpha Readers #1 & #2.

    Although the contest for the ARC is now closed, if anyone wants to send in their idea late, I’m sure the group would like to read it.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 30, 2013 @ 12:34 am


    Oops–there was one in the Moderation queue I didn’t see until after this. But it came in before the deadline and was #17, John McDonald. Very nice story, too.

  • Comment by John McDonald — December 30, 2013 @ 12:37 am


    I do believe that if you check the date/time stamp on my submission, I made the deadline. Even if I did not, I enjoyed writing it.

  • Comment by Linda — December 30, 2013 @ 6:46 am


    Thanks for letting us know how things stand. After the 20th I did far more than “take out the moon” and was editing until I pushed the comment button last night. Elizabeth, thanks for inquiring … that gave me the courage to send it in.

  • Comment by Iphinome — December 30, 2013 @ 7:03 am


    @Linda I missed the first version, didn’t want to read while I was choosing between three ideas and then working on the one I chose but your posted version was just wonderful.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 30, 2013 @ 8:48 am


    John: You’re in. It was stuck in moderation, which I hadn’t checked until after midnight. Then I saw the time/date stamp and added it to the list (the paper list I was keeping.)

    Now that my eyes are unstuck this morning, I’ll wake the hamsters in the random number generator (you didn’t know about the hamsters, did you? It’s my own invention, using a variation of Esther Friesner’s hamster-fortune-wheel.) Soon we’ll see.

  • Comment by John McDonald — December 30, 2013 @ 1:13 pm


    Thank you. Is the hamster fortune wheel a version of an ancient Roman crane cage, only smaller?
    Could resist that; I watched two programs on the History Channel on Roman and Med1eval engineering that showed almost identical machines.

  • Comment by GinnyW — December 30, 2013 @ 4:19 pm


    I loved your story, and I am glad it made it before the deadline.

  • Comment by John McDonald — December 30, 2013 @ 6:35 pm


    Thank you. I had fun writing it. I finished it with one eye on the clock, as there is a 2 hour time difference between Idaho and Texas.

  • Comment by Richard — January 1, 2014 @ 11:44 am


    It doesn’t feel right to chicken out without posting something, however late.

    If I have to imagine myself in Paksworld, I’d be a mage, a learned one (wizard if you prefer). I’d have earned my living, and more, from spells to contain, catch and remove the soot dislodged when chimneys are swept – especially the finer particles that, without me, go everywhere except into the rugs spread around the hearth. Most people at home resign themselves (or their servants) to days of extra cleaning, but innkeepers will pay to go back into their kitchens and resume cooking straight away. Bakers too. And specks of black on bedsheets or shelves, in high-price private rooms with their own hearths, would ruin an inn’s reputation, and again the innkeepers don’t want to lose several days’ takings until all has been thoroughly scrubbed. Bankers too in their offices where they receive customers, and merchants with ledgers that mustn’t be smudged.

    We once lived in Pliuni, where my maternal grandfather had been a timber merchant’s scribe, and my father’s father one of several scribes to the Count’s steward. My father and his sister (who never married) ran a little school for merchants’ children. He followed Adyan and Orphin (as I do, after my fashion) but she was Girdish, mainly I think because they accord women equal status (nearly – this is still Aarenis). She became a yeoman marshal for a time, until she decided she was too old. That was after we left Pliuni ahead of Siniava seizing it, years ago. The families split up then – my sister going one way (Foss) with her husband’s family, my maternal uncle taking my cousins another, my aunt and parents a third, to a small town (the folk insist it is more than a vill) a morning’s walk from Czardas, which is where I found new employment.

    My parents are dead now, but my aunt yet lives, and I go to spend Midwinter with her and her neighbours (though I’d also be welcomed by my sister’s family). The town nestles at the foot of a high steep hill, rising above it to the west – one of a chain a dozen hills long but only one wide, running away to the south. The rock I believe is dross, but no dwarves live there because there is no ore worth mining, and no gnomes so far as anyone knows, I guess because the range is so small and surrounded by us humans – where would gnomes get food?. Often, most (myself included) climb to the hilltop at the end of the afternoon to watch the sun set, then wait through the night until it shows above the distant, lower hills way across the valley. Myself, but not my aunt; she says she could still climb up, but the descent next morning would be too hard on her knees, so she stays below with the other old folk, to greet me when I come back down.

    Up on the hilltop, amid near strangers in the darkness, I remember the tradition back in Pliuni, in the Hall where I studied. To outsiders it was the High Lord’s, but to insiders Esea’s, and whatever others think we knew that since the sun is not Esea, so Esea does not die with the year. In Old Aare, we were told, while all else was dark the King held Esea’s light over the high altar all through the night by magery alone, and if his magery failed before dawn then so did his kingship in favour of one stronger. None now have that strength of magery, nor did the priests try to hold the light in relay, but instead Esea’s candle was lit by magery as the sun set, and when one candle burnt down the next priest lit the next one, while in the Court of Misrule (as the rest of the Hall now was) the recent dead, the famous dead, and the ruling priests were named with mocking affection, remembering their human foibles – this one was fat, that one stammered, the one who once accidentally set his robes on fire, the one whose horse always bolted. Darkness hid the accusers – if a voice sounded familiar all would pretend not to recognise it – but there had to be truth behind the jests, because Esea yet lived.

    When the afternoon sky is heavy with clouds, though, so the sun will pass unseen, and especially if it is raining or snowing then all stay below. (If clouds break so that starlight off fresh snow lights the way up the well known path, then the cryer calls us out to ascend after all.) Then through the night my aunt tells stories of her grandmother, of her parents, of long-lost cousins (hers) and friends; and of my father, and all the most embarrassing moments of my childhood (several times over, forgetting she has already said them), and of the old war back when she was a girl. (The one in which the last true Count of the South Marches died on the Horngard pikes when they broke the siege – Siniava was but the son of one of his captains, not even the designated regent). None of our family fought then – my father started training for his stint in the militia immediately after the fighting ended, and my uncle is younger – but they still had tales. Mostly about being sent away to the depths of the country, but my father and aunt were back in the city that last year, when they thought it was safe, but wasn’t. My part is to tell my mother’s stories so far as I remember them, while praying – even mages acknowledge the gods, and pray sometimes – that no war worse than squabbles with Foss over tolls will come this far.

  • Comment by GinnyW — January 5, 2014 @ 5:05 pm


    I like it – especially containing the ashes from the chimney cleaning.. I wish I had a magery that would contain the dust in my house, which alas, comes from the hot air vents and not a chimney.

    Thank you for remembering the refugees and those scattered by the recent war(s).

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