Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ongoing Series: Avalora School of Magic

Why yes, this is a new concept in my "Novel Series" tab. So, what exactly does "Ongoing Series" mean? I'm sure you've guessed but yes: it is an ongoing series of short stories or episodes where there is no feasible end in sight. Allow me to explain.

Sometime in January I was perusing the #amwriting trend as I do when I first begin a writing session. One of the tweets mentioned a website called channillo.com and the website itself sounded promising. Channillo is a "digital publishing platform for writers who want to release an ongoing series of work to loyal readers." (Channilo.com)

So, writers submit their short stories, essays, book chapters, articles, columns, poetry, whatever they can think of, and people get to enjoy it for a monthly subscription fee. That's right. You pay once a month to enjoy anywhere from 5-infinity writers and however much they actually post per month.

What does this mean for writers? Eighty percent royalties dependant on your subscribers and a fanbase. It looks like a win-win for both writer and reader, so far as I can see. Of course, I applied. I also got accepted which means at the end of March, Avalora School of Magic will make its debut.

Want the basics of Avalora? I made a website for that cuz that's how I roll. If you want to get to know the world or characters more than what's offered on said site then you're going to have to sign up for Channillo.com at the end of March and subscribe to me. Apparently there are going to be a lot of other authors so that monthly fee should be worthwhile.

How? Well, to follow 5 authors you would have to pay $4.99. If you're good you're going to follow the authors that are posting something once a week. If you're really good you might follow an author who posts twice a week. So if we assume the author would normally charge $0.99 per short story and you're following 5 who post a short story a week then you're getting you're money's worth. That's .99 times 5 = $4.95 you'd be spending if you were to buy 5 different author's short stories per week. With Channillo you pay $4.99 A MONTH. Get it? Got it? Good. *grins*

I know you're asking: why not publish this as a book? It's ongoing which means there is NO end in sight. Which means the books will be massive if I ever decide to take it off Channillo and package it in a year-by-year thing, similar to Harry Potter. For instance, book one (year one) would all ready clock in over 110,000 words. Yeah.

You're also asking: why not post it on fanfiction.net? Well, Channillo will have some marketing aspect to it (apparently) and I'd like to make something off this. I've put in a least a full week of planning into it all ready and well, fanfiction.net is for fanfiction. I also spent an entire weekend putting the website together and at least 60 hours dedicated to writing the story itself.

Why not post chapter by chapter on the blog? That's a lot of blog posts my friend and I can't make it go "next chapter" at the end of each one without going to the chapter prior and coding my own link. I could do it but it's kind of silly to post an on-going story for kicks without getting anything in return. And yes, I would like a bit of return on this. I'm not asking for thousands, just enough to fill my gas tank or pay a bill or two would be nice. ;)

Anyway, eventually the story will appear on the website for Avalora. Yes there will be a fee of sorts even there. I would love to give stuff away for free but I can't survive off undying devotion, love, or the happiness that comes when I know people are reading my fiction. If I could bank those lovely feelings you give me and trade them in for electricity, heat, or food I totally would.

Until next time, check out the Avalora website, check out Channillo.com and you know the drill about comments. Oh and check out the preview of chapter 1:

Ivy and the Discovery of Magic


Ivy Allan looked up then bit her lip. Melissa Foster’s blond hair had turned bright green. The only person who had noticed was David Hanes, the guy who sat behind Melissa. Ivy watched, worrying at her lower lip, as David’s eyes went wide and his mouth dropped. He turned in his seat. Ivy dropped her gaze to her desk and notes before David could meet her eyes. It was too late.

“Mr. Smith,” David called out.

Ivy knew everyone turned at the sound of David’s voice. For a moment there was blissful silence. Some students made the sounds of hiding laughter. Some of the girls gasped. One girl, Shelly Thomas, fainted. She sat beside Melissa and was Melissa’s best friend.

“Why are you all staring at me?” Melissa asked as she glanced around the room.

Ivy groaned and wished she was at home. Sometimes when she wished hard enough it would happen. It didn’t happen. It was her luck.

“Um, ah, well,” Rebecca John, Melissa’s other best friend, tried.

“Your hair looks like snot,” Brad Moore said with a laugh.

Ivy looked up through her lashes to see Melissa’s tense jaw loosen and eyebrows rise. Melissa reached up, grabbed the start of her pony tail and brought the tail over her shoulder so she could look at it. Ivy watched her eyes go even bigger. Her petal pinks lips popped open and she screamed. The wordless shout came complete with the waving hand motions, Melissa jumping from her seat and Melissa running out of the room in tears.

The room went quiet and Ivy looked back at her notes as everyone looked towards her. She hadn’t meant to turn Melissa’s hair green. It didn’t matter. The cheerleaders were going to hate her until she could either reverse the green hair of their captain or they could figure out how to make it blond again.

“Miss Allan,” Mr. Smith said.

Ivy felt her cheeks heat. She gathered her belongings and began shoving them into her bag. Ivy only looked up so she didn’t trip over anything on her way out the door and towards the Principal’s Office. She had learned the way quickly since the random spots of magic started happening when she turned 16.

It wasn’t her fault. She never meant the magic to happen when it did. She would be concentrating on school work or listening intently to the teacher then ping and something would explode or change color or become a different shape.

Yesterday she had accidently changed her English teacher, Mrs. Jones’ desk into a bed. The day before all the taps in the chemistry room began to spew lemonade instead of water. Her mom’s chili had exploded in the kitchen the night before that and Ivy had to help mom chase the chili around the kitchen trying to clean it.

Ivy reached the Principal’s Office and walked in. The receptionist looked up, rolled her eyes then went back to her work. Ivy sat in a chair against the wall and pouted. At this rate she was going to be expelled from school before the end of the term. The term had started in September, four months ago, and it was only December.

At least during the summer the magic hadn’t pinged so often. Then it had been her losing one too many pencils or finding something had moved when she hadn’t touched it. Now she was making objects become different colors or shapes or sizes or anything else.

The good part about the random magic bursts was everyone knew what it meant. Someway, somehow, Ivy was a Mage despite her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents being non-magical. Ivy wasn’t sure if her being a Mage was a gift or a curse. For now she was sticking with curse.

“Miss Allan, again?” Principal Gordon said.

Ivy looked up to see him standing in the threshold of his doorway. He was wearing a deep blue suit and as always his thinning brown hair was styled neatly on his head. His gray-green eyes were squinting at her as if he was trying to guess what she had accidently done before she told him. Ivy decided staring at the gray carpet was better.

“Well?” Principal Gordon asked.

“I accidently turned Melissa Foster’s hair green,” Ivy replied.

The receptionist tried to cut off a chuckle but Ivy heard it. Principal Gordon probably had too but he would talk to the receptionist after Ivy left.

“I know you don’t mean to do these things but I’ve had about enough mayhem in my school. Despite what your magic might believe: this isn’t a Mage School,” Principal Gordon said.

Ivy knew Woodland Public School wasn’t for Mages. Everyone here came from generations upon generations of non-Mages and most of the suburbs were full of non-Mages. There were full Mages who lived on the outskirts of town but their kids didn’t go to Woodland. They went to Gusia Public School for Mages which was half a mile out of town.

“I know you can’t help it since you turned 16 this summer and magic randomly happens until you’re trained but you’re causing too many problems. We haven’t even fixed the lemonade issue in the chemistry room yet.”

Ivy clenched her hands on her knees and blinked away tears. This was the reason Mages and non-Mages lived apart during their teen years. Mage children didn’t come into their magic until they were 16 and until they were shown how to control it their magic happened when it wanted. Mages and non-Mages still worked together, talked, and went to the same stores before 16 and during adulthood but teens were kept apart for good reason.

“No one expects to become a Mage when there aren’t any Mages in their family but I can’t keep having random magic going off in my school. I’m sorry Miss Allan, but I’m going to have to send you on your way.”

He was expelling her. Ivy didn’t look up at him but nodded. He kept talking but she wasn’t listening. She was being expelled. She hadn’t been the best student or the worse, average really, but she was being expelled. Ivy knew in a month she would have to start a new term at a Mage School but no one she knew could tell her how to get started.

There was no course on what to do if you discovered you were a Mage. Mages coming into their magic had at least one parent or grandparent who had powers. She had no one. She didn’t even know any Mages she could ask.

Ivy did know Mage Schools were boarding schools. There had to be tuition, books, and a maybe even a uniform. There would be supplies to buy, new teachers, and people she had never even met. First she had to find a school. No, first she had to go home and tell her parents she had been expelled.

“Miss Allan? I said you can go collect your belongings. Your mother said she would be along shortly to pick you up.”

Well, mom knew. Ivy nodded and stood. She didn’t look to Principal Gordon or the receptionist as she walked out of the office and towards her locker. It took her a few tries to get her locker open and she began shoving everything she could into her bag. She tugged on her winter jacket and made sure her locker was empty. What she couldn’t fit she carried to the front door. Ivy stood outside and sniffled.

At least Alisha had stopped talking to her after the first ping. They had been friends for ten years but they both knew at the first major ping the friendship would be over for a while. Plus, no non-Mage teen wanted to be seen hanging around the only Mage in the school. Everyone knew Ivy had to leave for magic school in January so no one bothered with her. Teachers didn’t mark her assignments or check her homework or call on her in class.

No one talked to her even when she called out to them and everyone rushed away from her when she got too close. People did whisper and point at her behind her back, normally discussing her latest magic ping. At least she had left them something good to talk about. She did feel bad for Melissa though. No one deserved green hair.

Ivy heard the sound of a car pulling into the driveway in front of the school. Sure enough, mom’s red sedan was coming to a stop beside her. Ivy opened the rear passenger door and slipped inside, head bowed, and trying to stop the tears.

“I’m sorry,” Ivy said.

Mom sighed but put the car into gear and began driving away. Ivy kept her eyes on the useless school books in her arms until the car was shut off. They were home all ready and Ivy pushed out of the car. Mom waited for her at the front and Ivy had to wipe a tear from her eye when Mom wrapped an arm over Ivy’s shoulder.

“It’s, well, we’ll figure it out,” Mom said.

Mom’s heels clacked along the path leading to the two-story bungalow Ivy called home. Her older brother Derrick was still in class at Woodland but would hear about Ivy being expelled come lunch. Sam and Joe, her younger twin brothers were still at Woodland Elementary in their final year. Carrie, her younger sister was going to be at Woodland Elementary for three more years.

Ivy hung up her coat alongside mom’s stylish black wool coat in the front closet and toed off her shoes. Ivy didn’t move from the carpet in front of the door inside the house and kept her head down. It gave her a good view of mom wiping her feet and walking away.

“Why don’t you go put that stuff down and meet me in the kitchen?” Mom questioned.

Ivy nodded and went upstairs. She dumped her school stuff onto the bed then wiped her eyes with the backs of her hands. Ivy let out a breath and fixed the red graphic tee so it covered her blue skinny jeans like it should. She was back downstairs and in the kitchen moments later.

Mom was at the stove, warming milk for hot chocolate. Mom’s thick, kinky, black hair was loose around her head styled in a long afro Ivy wished she could achieve. Mom’s ebony skin looked darker because of the white pants suit she was wearing. Her deep brown eyes were lined perfectly, long lashes emphasized with thick mascara, and her full lips were colored a flattering deep red.

Ivy had inherited mom’s eye shape but not her skill with make-up. She had also inherited mom’s hair texture but had her father’s brown hair and green eyes. Father being Caucasian had made Ivy’s skin a mix between Mom’s swarthy skin and dad’s pale tone. She had mom’s lips and nose, dad’s height and mom’s classically curvy frame.

“So,” Mom said.

She set a mug of hot chocolate in front of Ivy and settled into a chair beside her with another mug. Ivy didn’t touch her mug but let out a breath.

“How do we even find a Mage School?” Ivy asked.

Mom sighed and shook her head. They were almost level in height which was odd. Ivy towered over Mom by five inches even though mom was five foot two in heels. Mom wasn’t drinking her hot chocolate either but had both hands wrapped around the mug.

“I could ask around at work,” Mom said.

Mom was a lawyer in one of the biggest law firms in town. Blake and Associates dealt mainly with Non-Mages but had a few Mage clients. It would be a start.

“So, how much do you think this is going to cost?” Ivy questioned.

They weren’t poor but mom and dad had five kids to support. Derrick was getting ready to go to college, the twins were in another growth spurt and doing football, and Carrie was in dance. Ivy knew Magic Schools were private. It meant they cost a lot of money which for the Allan family had to be stretched across five kids.

“I don’t know but they can’t tell you not to attend because of money. It’s against the law not to accept a Mage into a Magic School,” Mom said.

Ivy nodded but she didn’t know what else to say or do. They drank their hot chocolate in silence and Ivy helped mom prepare dinner. Derrick was home first and said nothing when he entered the kitchen. Ivy had to look up to meet his eyes and saw he was frowning.

He had the Woodland school sweater over jeans on his tall, lanky frame, and his dreadlocks were covered with a baseball cap. Ivy blinked away tears when he wrapped her in a half hug.

“It’ll be okay, sis,” Derrick said.

Ivy nodded and went back to cutting the carrots. The twins and Carrie came running in half an hour later but Derrick directed them back to the living room. Ivy heard the hum of her brother’s voice as he told them the news. A few moments later, Carrie came running in and hugged Ivy from behind. Ivy had to bite her lip so she didn’t burst into tears.

Dad was last but he said nothing. He did give Ivy a quick kiss on the cheek as she set the table. They were sitting at the table a moment later but Ivy didn’t feel like eating. Everyone else did and she kept her eyes on her plate.

“Does this mean Ivy’s not going to be living here?” Carrie asked.

“Well, yes,” Dad said. “Magic Schools are like boarding schools and students are expected to stay on campus for the full term.”

Ivy rubbed her eyes to stop the tears from falling. It had been bad enough to have her friends stop talking to her. She would have to leave her family for however long school was in session. This couldn’t be helped or ignored. Ivy couldn’t keep accidently using her magic like she was.

“But she’ll be back, right?” Carrie questioned.

“Of course,” Mom answered. “Even Mages get school holidays.”

Ivy knew she would count down the hours until school holidays once she was in school. She ate only because she didn’t want the food to go to waste but was pushed out of the kitchen by Derrick when she tried to help clean up. Ivy went up to her room and Carrie followed. Ivy didn’t mind and they hung out in Ivy’s room, not speaking but just being there.

“I can’t believe you’re a Mage,” Carrie said after an hour.

“Me neither. Not even our great-great-great-grandparents were Mages,” Ivy said.

Carrie was fiddling with the hem of her shirt. She had gotten dad’s flat hair with mom’s hair color, mom’s brown eyes, and a pale complexion compared to Ivy, the Twins, and Derrick. Derrick was the darkest of them all with dad’s vibrant green eyes.

“Does this mean you won’t be doing normal non-Mage work?” Carrie questioned.

Ivy shook her head. She had no idea what kind of jobs Mages had. She didn’t even know how long she would be in Mage School or what the subjects would be. Ivy finally burst into tears and was glad Carrie was there to hold her. Ivy didn’t even care she should be comforting Carrie since Carrie was younger. This wasn’t fair...


No comments:

Post a Comment