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For those who have been following along for a while, you’ll know that the Monster Hunter series came about in the second half of last year. It was my second attempt at a serialized story and has received incredible support from my readers. It is difficult to get my brain out of Monster Hunter mode, now that things have really begun to pick up and take off. So I thought I’d summarize what we have so far, as well as what to look for in the future (both on this blog and off of it).

Ogre Hunt was where it all began, posted in four parts. The completed story currently stands at 4,101 words and will be under revision shortly.

A screenshot of my Monster Hunter project in Scrivener.

A screenshot of my Monster Hunter project in Scrivener.

The Doppelganger series just concluded last week and spanned across seventeen posts and weighs in at 8,518 words. There will be a lot of work to do in the revision stage to smooth the transition between some of the posts, since many of the early ones were written to fit into a particular prompt.

I’ve written three poems, sharing two of them on here throughout four posts, and that project comes in at 2,871 words in length. Look for a future post to hold the sonnet titled Remembrance.

Finally, I have started work on a story involving Ava at an early age. This comes prior to her father’s death and shows the friendship between her and Edgar, her spitfire personality, and her deep love for her father. In writing the 2,320 words I have so far, I have gained deeper clarity and understanding for these characters and the world they are in. This past week I’ve mapped out how this story will progress to its conclusion and I can’t wait to get it all down. Although this story is being held back for attempts at publication, I will still post an occasional snippet of this work-in-progress (one is included in this post, too, at the end!)

The next few Monster Hunter posts will be from Edgar’s perspective, taking place shortly after Ava departs from Talesin. Look for more detail in the Museum of Monster History, a deeper understanding of Edgar and his motives, and a preview of the upcoming plot for the next series of Monster Hunter in those posts.

Finally, be sure to check out the Facebook page for Scholarly Scribe. I’ll be making an effort to be more active with that, sharing little Monster Hunter quotes and information. And now, here is a short sample from my Origins story about Ava.

*  *  *  *  *

She reached for the bundle, biting her lip. The silky cloth contained something hard and heavy inside, a shape and weight that seemed somehow familiar. Ava peeled away the layers of fabric, squealing in delight at the new treasure in her possession. She grasped the hilt, the symbols engraved in the leather painfully pressing into her skin. The sheath was made of the same tanned leather as the hilt, making it appear to be one seamless piece. She pulled it free, a soft ringing sound filling the air as the weapon slid along the leather. She recognized some of the ancient glyphs that ran along the length of one side of the steel; her father had the same symbols of strength, victory, and protection on his own sword. The other side contained a single glyph, naming the blade so that the foes might know the means of their demise, but she didn’t recognize the symbol.

“This blade belongs to you now, Avalina,” her father said, brushing a strand of her red hair aside with a calloused hand. “Do you remember what I taught you about the tenets of a swordsman?”

“Yes, father,” she replied with a heavy sigh.

“Let’s hear them.”

“A swordsman is a weapon unto himself, the sword is merely a tool. A swordsman uses his sword to ward evil, never to cause injustice. A swordsman keeps…but father, I’m not a swordsman. I’m a swordswoman!”

His hearty laugh in response warmed Ava more than any fire in a hearth, and soon they were both laughing without control. Her father wiped tears from his eyes, trying to regain a serious demeanor. “Do not torment that boy with your sword, Avalina. Remember all that I have taught you, because while I am gone you will be the protector for this village.” He took the sword from her, tracing his finger along the name of the sword. “The sword is named Seraphina, which means ‘burning fire’. Let it be the torch that guides your path and keeps our home safe.”

He handed the sword back to her and she stared at the glyph, marveling over the intricate design that contained the name. Seraphina, she thought as a smile crept onto her face. She said a prayer for the sword to be blessed, to grant her the ability to serve and protect the ones she loves and cares about. Her father watched her in silence, his slate eyes filled with a warmth she had rarely seen since her mother died. He pulled her into an embrace after she finished the prayer, the bare metal of Seraphina cool against her midriff. Ava didn’t want to see him go, but she staved off the urge to tell him so. She needed to be strong for him.