Inspiration by Kings

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir


Kings Canyon and the Kings River, hidden away in the western Sierra Nevada, has been my home away from home for as long as I can remember.  Perhaps you’ve heard me mention them once or twice before.  The mountains in general and this particular area specifically call to me, they inspire me with their beauty, with their endless possibilities.  They help me find the words to the fiction in my head and they help me find the real paths to walk upon this world.

Today is 3 year blog-o-versary for The Matticus Kingdom.  Thank you to everyone who has ever liked, commented, re-blogged, provided feedback and collaboration, and on and on to help me as a blogger and a writer.  You are all very much appreciated.

Will you rise to Rara’s challenge  and share what inspires you for this week’s Photo Challenge?


not yet ready

He shifted his weight slightly, nearly imperceptible in the flickering candle light of his study, and created all the space he would need for his hands to work the magic.  The anger that had danced in his eyes moments before was replaced by his normal stoic gaze.  When he spoke, the fire he let simmer in his words was intentional rather than an uncontrolled outburst, though he did take pleasure in watching his pupil wince.

“I may be getting old, but don’t think for a second that means you are ready to replace me.”

Despite his student’s insolence, the elder wizard was impressed with the young man’s confidence.  It proved he had chosen wisely when selecting who to train.  Still, there were many lessons that needed to be taught and learned before the student would ready to take over the duties of the master.

“Nothing to say for yourself?”

When no answer was forthcoming, with a wave of his hand, he motioned for the young man to leave.

His student stared him down instead, and, hoping to catch his teacher off-guard, quickly unleashed the most powerful spell he knew.  Lightning raced from his outstretched fingers.

The room swirled with energy and the master smiled sadly.  Perhaps he hadn’t chosen wisely after all.   His warding charms easily deflected the magical energy bolts, sending them sizzling into the wall behind him.

The pupil’s face fell as his master rose unscathed and the energy in the room exploded.  He could feel the weight of his master’s wrath before the spell had even finished being cast.  It crushed him from all sides, squeezing the light from his eyes and stealing the strength from his legs.

The last words he heard before he lost consciousness were, “You still have a lot to learn.”


Word Count: 298

This is a continuation of the story I started writing yesterday, and is still very much a work in progress as I want to expand it into a much larger piece.  Again, I could have, and wanted to, write more for this posting, but had to keep it under 300 words to meet the prompt criteria for this week’s Writing Challenge from The Daily Post:

The challenge

Not sure how to get going? Here are a few ideas to nudge your muse.

  • Write at least one piece of flash fiction. Each piece of flash fiction must be 300 words or less.
  • Write a six-word story. Need some inspiration? Check out some of the responses to the six-word story Daily Prompt.
  • Feeling extra sassy? Write at least one six-word story and one piece of flash fiction.
  • Not feeling into fiction? Write a flash fiction biography/autobiography.
  • Write a real-time flash fiction piece: the entire action takes place in the time it takes us to read it.

Do you like where I’m headed?  Do you think the student/teacher standoff is too overplayed in fantasy novels?

in the middle of the night

I’m awake again.  Why am I awake again?  It’s dark.  It’s very dark.  I can sense that mom and dad are nearby but they aren’t moving.  I hope they are okay.  What if they aren’t?  That.  Would.  Be.  Terrible!

*whimper whimper*

Oh, okay they are stirring, so they are okay.  But, they still aren’t awake.  And I’m still awake.  Why am I awake?  Why aren’t they awake?  Something must be wrong.  Something must be horribly awfully wrong!


Oh, they are okay.  Mom is comforting me now.  And Dad has rolled over completely so he’s okay too.  And they are both awake.  That’s good.  Everything is good.  I feel okay now.  I’m not sure why I’m awake.  I guess I could go back to sleep.  Maybe I’ll just close my eyes again…


Uh oh.  The little hairless kitty is awake again.  How come the two big hairless cats aren’t better at telling when he is awake.  I can tell.  I know my sister can tell too.  I think the big hairless cat that pets us can almost sense when he wakes up, but not like we can.  The big hairless cat that feeds us is pretty much useless.  But, he’s always up first, and he always makes sure we have food and clean water, so I guess he’s not entirely worthless.

Though, if one of them doesn’t wake up soon, the little hairless kitty is going to start screaming.  He has already started squirming and making that weird mewing sound.  He sure doesn’t sound like a cat.  But, then neither do the big cats most of the time.  But, that’s off point.  One of them needs to get up now, or…  Too late.  There he goes.



*licking paws*

*slinking off the bed to disappear into the darkness*

I think I’ll find someplace else to sleep for a bit.  I’ll come back so I can snuggle up with the big hairless cats again after they get the little one settled down and sleeping again.  I wonder where my sister is?  Maybe I should go find her.


This bit of silliness brought to you in part by the Weekly Writing Challenge, my ten month old son, and one of my two cats.  The challenge this week was to “consider things from a different point of view — to walk a mile in someone’s shoes. Leave your moccasins and bunny slippers at the door, and tell us a tale from a fully-immersed perspective that is not your own.”

I opted to tackle the challenge using a combination of two of the suggested prompts: I picked a family member (or two) and went with split perspectives.  I probably went a bit sillier with the whole thing than was being asked for, as I didn’t really dive all that deep into how my characters view the world around them.  But, I did offer a glimpse into how they could see the very specific occasion of my son waking up the house in the middle of the night.  So, hopefully it’s close enough that nobody will call me on it.

What about you?  Did you link up to this week’s writing challenge?  Are you normally adept at seeing things in your life from different perspectives?  Do you think I stayed within the guidelines of the challenge?

A billet-doux for my wife

My Queen,

We spoke the words.  We meant them.  We locked eyes and said from that day on as we sought out what this world has to offer we would do so side by side, each others greatest supporter.  We promised love and adventure.  And Craig Armstrong’s “Portuguese Love Theme” played in the background.

We danced.  Our first dance.  Our movements in unison.  Our bodies as one.  Working together we told a story of love and our new life together.  And Michael Buble’s “Everything” played in the background:

“And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It’s you, it’s you, You make me sing.
You’re every line, you’re every word, you’re everything.”

We lived.  Bought a home.  Adopted kittens.  Brought a child into this world.  Of adventure, there has been plenty.  Our promises have been kept and will continue to be kept.  I wouldn’t want to share this life with anyone else.  I wouldn’t want to share our adventures with anyone else.  And +44’s “Make You Smile” played in the background.

The future is ours.  We will seek out new adventures.  We will walk hand-in-hand.  We will explore and learn and grow.  Through it all, my love will never falter.  I will lift you up just as you always lift me up.  We will dance always.  Our bodies moving as one.  And Michael Buble’s “Everything” will play in the background.

“And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It’s you, it’s you, You make me sing.
You’re every line, you’re every word, you’re everything.”

My love for you shines through in every line – those from the songs I sing to you, those from our bodies as we dance together.  My love shines through in every word – those I write to you, those I whisper in your ears late at night, those that go unspoken.

You ARE my everything,



Thank you Queen Creative for this wonderful opportunity to tell my wife how wonderful she is and how much she means to me:


Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Sometimes called a billet-doux, or a love letter, a love note is a personal letter to a loved one expressing affection.  The loved one does not necessarily have to be animate, human, alive, or known.

Suggested Prompts:

  • Write a love note to someone.  It can be to the love of your life, the world, or to yourself.  It can be an open letter to a celebrity, or the last love note of your life, or the one you’ve never sent.
  • Tell us about the a love note you received.
  • Show us a picture that represents writing with love, for love.
  • Imagine someone wrote you the perfect love note.  Make a list of all the things it includes.
  • … or make up your own related prompt!


And! I publicized this post, the first one I’ve ever done, through Twitter to comply with the request from this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge:

For this week’s featured-based challenge, try to find a blogging event through our Events Listings page and use one of these features to give some extra oomph to your entry:

  • Publicize your submission, making sure you edit your custom Publicize message to include any relevant hashtags or @mentions when your post is shared. In case you missed it, you can now automatically share your posts on Google+ as well.
  • If you’re going to be attending a few real world events and want to let your readers know where to find you, try creating your own custom calendar to use with the Upcoming Events Widget, which shows a list of happenings on a specific calendar feed. It’s a fun way to connect with others, while keeping track of your own social and writerly engagements.
  • Sometimes a contest or event takes place on other social networks, such as Facebook. If you participate in a Facebook-based event, try embedding a post from Facebook to get as much mileage as possible from your social networks to your blog.
  • Similarly, use the Media Explorer to search for and embed Tweets related to the event in which you’re participating. Many competitions will include a related hashtag — like #nablowrimo, or even #postaday — which lets you easily find fellow participants, and include yourself in the dialogue. With the Media Explorer, you can give a shout out to other participants who you particularly admire, or share a Twitter conversation with your blog followers.


 Photo by Michelle Weber.Photo by Michelle Weber.

She watched and waited for everyone else to leave the playground.  She knew she should run and play with the other kids, she knew that she might even enjoy doing just that, but she didn’t want to risk breaking the magic.  She didn’t want to risk upsetting her other friends, the ones that only came around when she was by herself.

She sat much like she had the first time they had come out for her.  Having just moved to the neighborhood, she’d perched on the neglected merry-go-round and watched the other kids skip and race, slide and swing, laugh and squeal the afternoon away.  She had wanted to join them but was too shy to approach any of them.  She had hoped one of them might reach out to her but none of them ever did.

One by one they went their separate ways or were collected by their parents.  She’d hung her head, tears welling in her eyes, lonely, confused, and angry with herself for not having the bravery to stand up and ask the other children if she could join them.  After forcing the tears away, her mother would have been proud, she found the strength in her legs to push away from the apparatus.  It was then she’d heard a voice behind her say hello.

In her shock she’d fallen onto her behind as she twisted around to see who had managed to sneak around her.  And there had been no one there.  Then the horse had spoken again, “I do hope you haven’t injured yourself young lady, are you okay?”

She could still remember how it felt when her eyes had gone wide and her heart had started racing.  It was impossible.  She knew it was impossible.  Yet, it had happened.  The horse had talked to her.  She had seen its mouth move.  An initial jolt fear had been immediately replaced by a sense of wonder and joy.

“I’m okay,” she’d mumbled, and then dragged herself out of the dirt, using the edge of the merry as leverage.  Then the horse’s head had turned to look at her, and it had smiled.  She’d nearly fallen over again at that point, and very well would have if she hadn’t still been clutching the edge.

“Would you like to play with us?”

Us?  She’d thought, delirious in her excitement, as one by one the other animals around the toy swiveled to face her.  The poles slid away and they were free.

“I would love to…”

And so they had.  They’d frolicked, and danced around the empty playground.  Playing one game after another until she’d realized how late it had gotten.  She apologized profusely and told them she would come back and visit them every day, and then she’d sprinted home.  Happier than she’d been since before she’d moved.  Happier than she could ever remember being.

Every day after that she returned to the park and waited patiently for the other children to leave so she could play with her new friends.  Every day they came back to life for her.  They were free from their daily chore, free from their structured servitude.

But then she’d had school commitments to see to, and her mom had gotten sick and needed taking care of, and she hadn’t been able to join her new friends in the park.  She hadn’t been able to experience that magic and she had worried that perhaps when she did return the spell would be broken.  She didn’t know what she would do if that happened.

So, she didn’t want to do anything else to risk damaging the enchantment she had found.  She didn’t run and play with the other children.  She didn’t even make eye contact with them for fear that might entice them to come and start talking to her.  She just sat there, singing a song, one of the rabbit’s favorites, and digging her toy in the sand.

It wouldn’t be much longer.  The numbers had already started to dwindle and night was quickly approaching.  Soon, she’d hear the rabbit’s strong voice join hers, and she feel the horse nuzzle her shoulder, and watch the frog bound over her head.  She’d play tag with the tiger.  She’d go for a ride on giraffe.  She’d rub bears tummy the way he liked ever so much.

The playground would be theirs to do with as they pleased.  They’d be the ones laughing and squealing, skipping and racing, swinging and sliding, and she’d feel whole again, complete in the company of her friends.  Then when the last light of the day faded away she’d run home.  But she’d be back the next day and the day after that.

She would always return to play with them.  Because they had reached out to her.  Because they had seen how much she needed them.  And because she knew that they needed her to.  They were perfect when they were together.  And that’s how it supposed to be with friends.


Word Count: 836

Written in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words.  Do you have a story to go with this picture (fiction or otherwise)?  Write it up and link to the challenge.  Go on then, what are you waiting for?!