Tag Archives: automata

For Furgo, time does fly

Treasure Under Furgo-Boy’s Bed

For Furgo, time does fly

For Furgo, time does fly

What a sweaty ride we had through Veldt Island’s hot savanna. Go ahead to your staterooms and freshen up–I’ll be along after a while. It looks like Furgo has a new treasure he wants to show me. Curious? Come along, then. We’ll follow the cyanthrope to his room.

Lita: You keep your room so tidy, Furgo. I thought lads and dogs were messy.

Furgo: Madam Lita, this is the first time I had a place of my very own. I love everything about my room. I can arrange it however I please, put my treasures in here, and no one will touch them.

Lita: You deserve the very best after your terrible adventures in Ephraim’s Curious Device. Your new treasure is a clock that flies. Did your friend Bright make the clockworks?

Furgo: He did, and Kadmeion gave it wings like a butterfly. It purrs when it flies, just like our fey-folk. Fairy Izlyesende wants to tell you something when we’re settled for treats in the dining room.

Lita: I’d better hurry and wash off Veldt’s dust, then get along to the galley. Izlyesende usually tells us silly or naughty things.

Malfunctioning Rig Monkey

Twice-Seventh Son Elf Magic

Malfunctioning Rig Monkey

Malfunctioning Rig Monkey

What a clear, fine day here on deck. Those brass monkey contraptions are the clockwork automata that Bright created to tend the airship sails. Quite nimble, aren’t they? Looks like Bright is coming down now.

Lita: Greetings, Sir Bright. Do you have time to talk with us?

Bright: I always have time to talk with you, Lita. I would have met all of you earlier when you came on board, but I had to retire a malfunctioning rig monkey. Wizard Nob on Mevil Isle insisted we take the Meat-Man’s automata as a gift. Its inferior minor demon went a bit mad. It damaged some of the pulley mechanisms before our clockwork homunculi captured it.

Lita: Considering Wizard Nob conjured the demon, I’m not surprised it was inferior. I hope you can repair the damage to the airship.

Bright: I fixed the pulleys and adjusted the rope tension just before you came up on deck. Don’t worry about the defective rig monkey bothering us. I used a standard spell to release the minor demon back to the Nether Plains. Because it was a dead body, I tossed the remains overboard. There was nothing I wanted to salvage from the ill-made thing.

Seven Sons

Seven Sons

Lita: Thank you for throwing out the trash. We wanted to ask you about your elf magic, especially being the seventh son of a seventh son.

Bright: Seven children is a big family. In contrast, Kadmeion was an only child, which is a typical situation for a human wizard or sorceress. Not so for elf-born children. Since my father is also a seventh son plus a talented magician, everyone had high expectations that I would be a rare elf wizard. Because my magical talent didn’t develop as expected, my older brothers picked on me. I guess they blamed me for being inferior.

Lita: Well, we all found out what happened to your magical talent in the Forever Boy story. Your father is full-blood elf, and your mother is human?

Fey Izlyesende's home

Fey Izlyesende’s home on the airship

Bright: Correct. It makes me and my brothers hybrid magicians called narfleets. We have a blend of human and elf magical abilities, but those talents are weaker than if we were full bloods. My mother’s heritage allows me to cast spells using sung words and magical props. Elves have glamour magic and talent with plants. My glamour is quite strong, but I have less talent with herbology. I enjoy puttering with my collection of miniature oak trees in the airship’s quercetum.

Lita: I understand you picked up some new shipmates who live in your onboard oak forest.

Bright: It was a near thing losing the fey-folk in the circumstances with Ephraim’s Curious Device. You might not see Izlyesende and the others today, since there’s a crowd of people with you. Fairies are shy and need quiet circumstances. Kadmeion and I are fortunate that the quercetum, and our magic, nurture them.

Lita: We might not have time to visit the fairies. Looks like we’re approaching Veldt Island. We must go below now and get ready for our onshore excursion.

A sorceress with a magical dodad

Concerning Magical Thingummys, Dodads and Whatnots

A sorceress with a magical dodad

A sorceress with a magical dodad

So kind of Wizard Kadmeion to take some time away from his spell casting and explain the differences between magical thingummys, dodads, and whatnots. I’ll get the questions started.

Lita: Good morning, Kadmeion. In general, what are thingummys, dodads, and whatnots?

Kadmeion: They are little magic devices. Flipperies. Amusements that have no practical value.

Lita: In the Ephraim’s Curious Device story, you called Ephraim’s trinket a thingummy. Why?

Kadmeion: Ephraim’s trinket is a thingummy for three reasons. First, a male wizard created it. Not all magical trinkets are created, some just come in to being. Second, Ephraim did not describe his Device when he spread rumors about it. So we assumed it was not shiny.

Lita: What is the third reason you called it a thingummy?

Kadmeion: Thingummys are sometimes hidden. On the other hand, dodads are quite common, and they are shiney. Sorceresses specialize in magical dodads. They can also be hidden.

Fey-folk create magical whatnots

Fey-folk create magical whatnots

Lita: Please tell us about magical whatnots.

Kadmeion: They have many differences from dodads and thingummys. The most important thing is magical sentient creatures create whatnots. Non-humans, to be precise.

Lita: Your assistant Sir Bright is a half-elf and a magician. Does he create whatnots?

Kadmeion: Elves are a human race. He and I create thingummys. You look confused. I’ll explain. Because I’m a full wizard, I can create thingummys, dodads, and whatnots. When I’m working alone or with Bright, I create thingummys. If I’m working with a sorceress, then I create dodads.

Lita: And if you’re working with a sentient magical creature like a fairy, you create a whatnot?

Kadmeion: Yes. I use my partner’s magic to create the trinket. Apologies, but I must get back to my magic work. It has been my pleasure explaining these magical matters. Bright told me he was working with the rigging homunculi this morning. He’d love to discuss elf magic.

Lita: We’ll head topside now.

An airship in the Clockpunk Wizard world

All Aboard for the Ephraim’s Book Launch Party

An airship in the Clockpunk Wizard world

An airship in the Clockpunk Wizard world

Splendid to see you today! Welcome aboard Wizard Kadmeion’s airship for today’s book launch party for the newest Clockpunk Wizard story, Ephraim’s Curious Device.

Our pilot Copernicus has set course for Veldt Island, the huge floating home of Dragon Betrayal. We have beautiful weather today, so we should make good time and have smooth sailing.

Wizard Kadmeion waits for us in one of his onboard magical workrooms.  Let’s get settled, then join him in a few minutes. He will discuss the differences between magical thingummys, dodads, and whatnots.

The guest staterooms are down this hallway, at the end. Pick any empty berth, then meet me back here at the galley door. I’ll walk you to Kadmeion’s workshop.

Come to the Book Launch Party for Ephraim’s

Time for more talk about the Clockpunk Wizard world in Ephraim’s Curious Device. Wizard Kadmeion’s airship departs from here this Sunday, January 13th. Come as your are–it will be an informal affair.

Step on up to read more about Clockpunk Wizard

Step on up to read more about Clockpunk Wizard

Starting at 8 o’clock this coming Sunday morning, Lita will talk with the magicians about matters from the just-released eBook, Ephraim’s Curious Device. Be sure to drop by and catch posts about Dragon Betrayal’s hobbies, fey care, and wildebeest.

Kadmeion will discuss the differences between magical thingummys, dodads, and whatnots. Sir Bright will cover sibling rivalry between elf sons. Furgo sets us straight about what he hides under his bed. Fairy Izlyesende will give advice about romantic relationships. Lita will also share a few words about the next Clockpunk Wizard story, Old Bony Blue Eyes.

Before you come aboard, you might want to pick up a copy of Ephraim’s Curious Device at Amazon, Smashwords, or Barnes & Noble. Don’t miss the book trailer on YouTube.

Ephraim’s Curious Device – Available Now

Celebrating Ephraim's Curious Device

A toast to Ephraim’s Curious Device

Wizard Kadmeion’s airship awaits at the aerodrome, and it is ready for you to come aboard for another adventure.

With great pleasure, I announce the release of the next Clockpunk Wizard story, Ephraim’s Curious Device.  The eBook is on sale now at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

If you haven’t yet viewed the Ephraim’s book trailer, be sure to take a minute (literally, it’s about a minute long) and see it here on YouTube. Here is the back cover blurb for Ephraim’s, and a little something about the earlier story Forever Boy.

I have also talked at some length about the Ephraim’s Curious Device book cover design in an earlier blog post. And here is a free look at Chapter 1.

It pleased me to update the original draft of Ephraim’s that I wrote over 18 years ago, and make the story available now for Gentle Reader. I humbly say that time has improved my writing craft. I increased the story’s length by almost a third. Those extras passages add depth to Kadmeion and Bright’s world. I also sprinkled in some history about both magicians to better explain their current actions.

Fey Izlyesende's home on Hurt Isle

Fey Izlyesende’s home on Hurt Isle

Let Me Introduce You Around

Ephraim’s features new people in the Clockpunk Wizard world that you will see in future stories. A few of these folks are humans, and the rest are magical sentient creatures. Here are some of the new faces:

  • Wizard Nob and his employer Lord Hissalumieon
  • Fairies Izlyesende, Tessa-marine and Allura-ella
  • Harpy Queen Tkun’winddance
  • Dragon Lady Betrayal

Our heroes Kadmeion, Bright, and Furgo return. Kadmeion’s automaton Copernicus is there, but this clockworks man is usually busy in the airship’s pilot house. The story presents some non-clockwork homunculi (called “Goons” in wizardly circles). These “Meat-Men” automata bodies were grown in vats and animated by minor demons summoned by Wizard Nob. They are none too smart and cause headaches for Bright in Ephraim’s Curious Device.

Kadmeion's magic makes the thingummy look like this

Kadmeion’s magic makes the thingummy look like this

What is the Curious Device?

In the story re-write, I adjusted the back story about Ephraim’s thingummy and related it to Kadmeion’s current circumstances. The thingummy’s magic is still the same, but Lita (I’m also a magician in these situations) changed its true appearance.

Kadmeion disguises the Curious Device in the form of a beautiful chalice when he presents it to His Lordship Hissalumieon. The story explains why.

In the Clockpunk Wizard world, appearances mean everything. They teach this to undergraduate magicians at Agatha University, and call it Wizard’s Style. Others call it flim-flam. Lita calls it story fun. I intended for Ephraim’s Curious Device and the other stories about Wizard Kadmeion’s world to be absurd at times. I cannot resist a good pun (I know, “good pun” is an oxymoron, but I love them anyway). The poetry in the magician’s spells are factotum, but please understand that most of the time they are in a hurry.

A floating island in the Clockpunk Wizard world

A floating island in the Clockpunk Wizard world

Take an Airship to the Clockpunk Wizard World

How I do go on! I love to talk about Kadmeion and Bright’s world of airships, floating islands, and fun magic. Lita already has the next story in the works. Check out the back cover blurb for Old Bony Blue Eyes.

I will close today with another beautiful image of a floating island in Wizard Kadmeion’s world. It must have a lot of floating rock to make the base so thin.

Don’t forget to get your boarding pass for Ephraim’s Curious Device at Amazon or Smashwords. Welcome aboard.

Ephraim’s Curious Device: Sneak Peek at Chapter 1

Warm up with a Clockpunk Wizard story

Warm up with a Clockpunk Wizard story

Only a couple more days until Wizard Kadmeion’s airship leaves for the floating island of Mevil.

What a pleasure the preparation for Ephraim’s Curious Device has been here at Lita’s house. I’ve had a lovely time visiting the magicians, the dragon, and the fey-folk.

So much to do!

The cover artwork and layout comes first. Editing is the biggest task, first with telling the story, then polishing every moment until it shines. Then it’s proofreading until the vision blurs over. No time to rest. Lita uses her eye drops, then returns to more proofing and polishing.

The beta reader weighs in. Lita adjusts the last nits in the story. Then come mundane matters with filing the copyright, formatting the upload files, and publishing–what lovely magic. A moment to rest, then Lita is off to plan the book launch party.

If you haven’t yet done so, take a quick minute to see the book trailer and let me know your thoughts, then head over and read the back cover blurb for the story teaser.

You’re back?  Splendid!  Here are the first few pages of Wizard Kadmeion’s second Clockpunk Wizard story. Welcome aboard the airship.

Ephraim’s Curious Device by Lita Burke

Copyright 2012 by Lita Burke. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

His Lordship Hissalumieon, Mevil Island

The air popped at Bright’s elbow. He jerked, then dropped a tiny brass gear from one of their airship’s clockwork automata. A scroll with an unfamiliar wax seal fizzled in to existence on his workbench. The vellum rocked for a moment, then lay still.

Bright slipped off his stool and backed away. He ran a hand through his long blond hair to get it out of his eyes. “Ham-fisted mooncalf of a magician. Our message box is in the next room.”

A crash came from Kadmeion’s forward workroom at the end of the hall, followed by rare harsh words. A wizard’s curse flapped through the doorway on leather-like wings and circled Bright’s head. He snagged and crushed the curse. It squeaked. Disappeared. A wisp of mint and pine-scented magic tickled his nose.

“Furgo, fetch my broom now.”

Bright blinked. Kadmeion never shouted. Another wizard’s curse winged its way in. Time to lend a hand. Bright snatched his workroom’s broom and trotted toward the commotion. He paused at the wizard’s doorway. Several circling curses swooped toward him. He swatted them away. “Need some help?”

Yes. Where’s Furgo?”  More…